VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis says next month's meeting of bishops from around the world aims to "shed full light" on clergy sex abuse and covers-ups.
Speaking to diplomats Monday at the Vatican, Francis called the abuse of minors "one of the vilest and most heinous crimes conceivable." He said the church was working to combat and prevent abuse and its concealment, to uncover church hierarchy's involvement and to deliver justice to minors who have "suffered sexual violence aggravated by the abuse of power and conscience."
The Catholic Church's credibility has been eroded by sex abuse by clergy and bishops and its often systematic concealment.
Francis called February's meeting "a further step in the Church's efforts to shed full light on the facts."
His own handling of some cases has drawn criticism.