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VATICAN CITY – Getting face-time with the Pope is no easy task, but when the Archdiocese from our neck of the woods requested a meeting with the Pontiff, it was granted.

Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo from Galveston and Houston is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  On Thursday, he and several other top U.S. church officials will discuss the escalating sex abuse scandal rocking the church, and how the Pope has coped.

Just as Pope Francis faces growing criticism, he`s announced a first-time summit on the protection of minors.  He’ll summon presidents of episcopal conferences worldwide to the Vatican this February for convos about preventing sexual abuse by priests and protecting children.

There`s a lot on the papal plate right now.

Last month a Pennsylvania grand jury released a 900-page report saying more than 300 priests sexually abused more than a thousand kids in six dioceses over 70+ years, and church leaders covered up the crimes.

In a separate development, a former top American Cardinal has been accused of sexually abusing seminarians and an altar boy.  Though Theodore Mc Carrick denies the allegations against him, he resigned in July. But,  a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S. says the Pope knew about those allegations for five years and did nothing.  Instead, Mc Carrick was allowed to rise through the religious ranks.

That former Papal diplomat has even urged the Pope to resign in the wake of all these scandals.

The Council of Cardinals has expressed support for Pope Francis, but it sounds like perfect timing for that sex abuse summit scheduled for February!

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