In a statement released by the Vatican Press Office, Pope Francis has announced that he is summoning the presidents of the Bishops Conferences from around the world to discuss the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Church.

In the statement, the date of this meeting was set for February 21-24, 2019 and noted that Pope Francis decided to call the meeting after meeting with the Council of Cardinals.

The full text of the statement is below:

The Holy Father Francis, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, has decided to convene a meeting with the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of the “protection of minors”.

The meeting with the Pope will be held in the Vatican from 21 to 24 February 2019.

During the 26th meeting, which took place from 10 to 12 of this month, the Council reflected extensively together with the Holy Father on the theme of abuse, issuing the Communiqué published by the Holy See Press Office on 10 September.

As it proceeds in the work of the reform of the Roman Curia, the Council has concluded its rereading of the texts already prepared; the pastoral care of the staff who work there has also been a cause of attention.

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