The Vatican summit to focus on accountability

One of the major topics of the summit is how to hold bishops accountable for destroying records of abuse and quietly transferring predatory priests to other churches instead of turning them in.
2:07 | 02/23/19

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Transcript for The Vatican summit to focus on accountability
Longman. Now to the Vatican where a groundbreaking summit is under way focusing on sex abuse by catholic clergy. A key focus of this meeting is accountability, and ABC's David Wright is right there in Rome with how American cardinals are taking the lead here. David, good morning. Reporter: Good morning, Dan. One of the big issues that the church has struggled with is how to hold bishops accountable when they're found to have transferred predator priests from one parish to another instead of turning them in. U.S. Cardinals have now put forward a plan that they hope would provide greater accountability. More than a few bishops and cardinals are accused of being bad shepherds who failed to protect their flocks. I and everyone else has to be held accountable, and I've always believed that. Reporter: That's what cost cardinal Donald wuerl his job as archbishop of Washington after last summer's grand jury report was sharply critical of his tenure as bishop of Pittsburgh. We really have to be able to confront our sinfulness and to deal with it, not to ignore it or sweep it under the carpet. Reporter: On Friday U.S. Cardinals put forward a groundbreaking plan whereby archbishops would investigate or be empowered to investigate allegations of misconduct against bishops in their region, one possible solution to the accountability program. We brother bishops must be together. We brother bishops must help one another. We brother bishops, you forget that there are even sisters in the church. Reporter: But critics of the church aren't holding their breath. I feel they just don't get it because they are living in a bubble. Reporter: Today's session brought an astonishing admission from a German cardinal that in some cases the church has destroyed records of abuse calling on that to stop. Tonight pope Francis, the bishops and cardinals celebrate a liturgy of penance. Tomorrow a final mass and after that we'll hear pope Francis' final remarks. Our first chance to hear his thoughts on all that's been discussed, Dan and Eva. It's a huge story for so many catholics all over this country and all over the world. David Wright, we appreciate your reporting on this Saturday morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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