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March 14th, 2013
09:05 AM ET

BishopAccountability.org's Doyle: Pope Francis not a 'promising leader' on sexual abuse within the church

As Pope Francis takes his place as the leader of the church, he faces a growing sex abuse scandal that has plagued the church in recent years. It’s a problem he inherits and one many are hoping he will address more aggressively than his predecessors.

Anne Barrett Doyle offers more on this view live from Rome. She's the Co-Director of BishopAccountability.org, a watchdog group that serves as the largest library of documented sexual abuse within the church.

Doyle explains her hope in the future of the church now, as well as her doubts about Pope Francis reforming the issue of sexual abuse within the church.  “My first concern was that the cardinals chose not to make a statement that clergy sexual abuse would be the next pope's priority,” she says. “They did not choose a cardinal who has dealt extensively with this issue."

Doyle says nothing in Bergoglio's past characterizes him as a "particularly promising leader on this issue,” but she is optimistic. A Catholic who was present in  Saint Peter's Square when the white smoke came out, she says she feels profound hope. “We need someone who is gutsy and outspoken,” Doyle says. “Let's hope this particular cardinal, now Pope Francis, has a change and becomes the leader that we desperately need to resolve this issue.”

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Filed under: Papacy • Pope • Pope Francis • Religion
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