BALTIMORE — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops starts Tuesday in Baltimore as clergy members explore ways to combat the global sex abuse scandal the church faces.
The sex abuse crisis will be one of the main focal points of the bishop's four-day conference.
There is mounting pressure from critics and Catholics for the clergymen to do more in response to the growing number of sex abuse allegations.
A year ago, a grand jury in Pennsylvania detailed hundreds of cases of alleged abuse by priests toward more than 1,000 children throughout the state since the 1940's.
The report also accused senior church officials of covering it up, which has also been a serious problem for the church.
During their conference in Baltimore last November, the bishops drafted a new accountability policy such as creating a special commission to review complaints against bishops. However, the Vatican asked them to hold off on a final vote.
Last month, Pope Francis issued a new law saying all priests and nuns must report clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups by superiors to church authorities. They must also report claims of abuse by bishops to the Vatican and their supervisory bishop in the United States.
A rally will be held outside the Marriott Hotel, starting at 8:00 a.m.
Protesters call for two bishops from Texas to resign ahead of the start of the meeting for allegedly covering up reports of abuse by a priest in Houston.
The bishops conference runs through Friday.