Pope Francis met with a group of U.S. cardinals and bishops at the Vatican Thursday to discuss the ongoing sexual abuse and cover-up scandal that has engulfed the Catholic church.
The emergency meeting comes in the wake of a bombshell grand jury report detailing abuse allegations in Pennsylvania. Pope Francis has also been accused of not doing enough to address allegations of abuse.
Bishop Michael Olson of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth said today was an important first step in bringing about change.
"It's imperative that there's action. A crises is a graced opportunity for us to bring the gospel and bring the truth into the area of grave sin," he said.
The U.S. delegation was led by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Texas. He was accused by two people Wednesday of not doing enough to stop a priest who was recently arrested on sexual abuse allegations.
Olson said the diocese takes the issue of abuse seriously.
"Ministry is not an entitlement, it's a graced privilege that is the approach of the Diocese of Fort Worth that we are very proactive on providing a safe environment in responding to all issues of abuse," Olson said.
Bishop Edward Burns, leader of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas applauded the pope for holding the meeting, and his decision to invite the presidents of every bishop's conference around the world for a February summit to discuss the issue of sexual abuse and protecting children.
"I am very pleased to learn the Holy Father is taking this grave issue of sexual abuse to the international level to be seriously discussed by the leaders of the universal church...We must be steadfast in creating a safer environment for youth and vulnerable adults," Bishop Burns said.