Pope Francis delivers his message to the faithful during the weekly general audience at St. Peter's square in the Vatican on November 21, 2018. / AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTE
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Pope Francis named the Vatican's top sex abuse investigator and a close U.S. ally to an organizing committee for a February abuse prevention summit, the stakes of which have grown after the Holy See blocked U.S. bishops from taking action to address the scandal.In addition to Zollner, the committee includes Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, for a decade the Vatican's sex crimes prosecutor, Francis appointee Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich and Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias, a member of Francis' key cardinal adviser group.Francis summoned leaders of the world's bishops' conferences to the Vatican Feb. 21-24 after the abuse scandal erupted in his native South America and again in the U.S. and he botched the case of a Chilean bishop implicated in cover-up.That Francis chose him over DiNardo is perhaps understood by the obvious tensions between DiNardo and the Vatican over the rejected U.S. accountability proposals and DiNardo's public call this summer for a Vatican investigation into the U.S. scandal, which Rome refused.
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