(RELIGION NEWS) – There was a lot of talk but not a lot of action.
When American clerics at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops began their annual fall gathering in Baltimore on Monday, they were eager to take bold, decisive steps to address what many see as the biggest issue facing the church in years: the resurgence of the child sex abuse crisis.
But when public sessions finally wound down Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 14), those hoping to tackle the issue came away largely empty-handed, their efforts stymied by a last-minute request from the Vatican to wait until after a global meeting on the subject in February to vote on prepared measures designed to hold bishops accountable if they protect abusers or commit abuse themselves.
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"I opened the meeting expressing some disappointment. I end it with hope," said USCCB president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, although it wasn't clear whether all of his fellow bishops felt the same.