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Pope Francis says: 'Hear the cry of the little ones'

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As Pope Francis holds a summit on clergy sex abuse at the Vatican, survivors are demanding accountability and transparency from church leaders and assert that the time of sex abuse cover-ups is over. USA TODAY – Pope Francis urged high-ranking church officials from around the globe gathered Thursday at the Vatican to “hear the cry of the little ones” who are victims of sexual abuse by priests. Francis spoke at the beginning of a four-day summit that brought together almost 200 high-ranking church officials, including leaders of bishop conferences from more than 100 nations. The summit will focus on making bishops aware of their responsibilities regarding sexual abuse, as well as accountability and transparency, the Vatican said. The pope cited the “scourge” of sexual abuse and said it was the responsibility of church leaders to “confront this evil afflicting the Church and humanity.” Francis offered 21 proposals for the clergy to weigh. Some would require new la