Amid sex abuse crisis, Pope Francis calls on bishops to gather for retreat hosted by Blase Cupich

Pope Francis has called on Catholic bishops nationwide to gather for a historic seven-day spiritual retreat at Mundelein Seminary in suburban Chicago in January as church hierarchy grapple with the ongoing clergy sex abuse scandal.

As chancellor of the seminary, Cardinal Blase Cupich — an Omaha native and leader of the Chicago archdiocese — will serve as host of the gathering, which could include some 300 bishops from around the country. Cupich is now in Rome for a monthlong meeting of global church leaders.

Loyola University Chicago theology professor Miguel Diaz called the retreat “historically significant for American Catholics.” The concept of the gathering reflects the pope’s leadership style — his Jesuit background in particular — to address church challenges “within the context of collaborative and prayerful discernment,” said Diaz, a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.
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