The Vatican Finally Speaks Up

Few institutions prize symbolism as much as the Roman Catholic Church does. And over the past few months, as news surfaced about the sexual abuse of children and teens by priests from Boston to Los Angeles and evidence of official cover-ups grew, American Catholics looked to the Vatican for some kind of sign. The silence out of Rome was deafening until last Monday, when the Pope finally issued a call. America's embattled Cardinals--all 13 of them--were summoned to an unprecedented meeting to be solely devoted to the spreading uproar.

The convocation, which is scheduled to take place this week, means the...

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