Catholic religious orders apologize for role in sex abuse cover-ups

Two organizations representing Catholic religious orders have issued a joint statement apologizing for failing to protect children from priests accused of rape and sexual assault. The Union of Superiors General represents the leadership of male religious orders and has an estimated 133,000 priests globally, while the female branch, the International Union of Superiors General, represents around 500,000 religious sisters. The two groups admitted that they responded with denial, poor judgment, and even cover-ups when dealing with child sex abuse among their ranks. “We bow our heads in shame at the realization that such abuse has taken place in our Congregations and Orders, and in our Church,” the statement read. The organizations vowed to implement new measures to help safeguard minors against further abuse. Representatives from both groups will attend a sex abuse prevention summit at the Vatican which begins on Thursday.