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Pope Summons All U.S. Cardinals To Rome

Aired April 15, 2002 - 13:17   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: But now breaking news. Back to Atlanta and the CNN Center, here is Kyra once again -- Kyra.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Bill.

Well we're told that all U.S. cardinals have been summoned to Rome for a meeting at the Vatican. We got our Rome bureau chief Alessio Vinci on the phone. He's been working this late-breaking story.

Can you tell anything, Alessio, about what the purpose of this meeting will be?

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Kyra, a Vatican official is telling CNN on condition of -- on conditions of anonymity that basically the Pope has summoned all U.S. cardinals to Rome for a meeting as early as next week to discuss the ongoing scandal that has rocked the U.S. Catholic Church in recent months, that is the pedophilia scandal. The Vatican officials with whom we are -- we are speaking with, they do not wish to issue a more specific statement about exactly how this meeting will take place or whether all cardinals have been -- already been contacted for this meeting, which, again, they are saying will take place as early as next week herein Rome.

The Vatican officials with whom we've been speaking been trying to find out more information about what the Pope exactly wants to achieve with this meeting, but they are not giving us more information other than confirming actually the information that first emerged from the -- from the United States that all cardinals have been summoned to come to Rome as early next week to a meeting with the Pope. The Pope John Paul II has so far kept fairly quiet on the issue of pedophilia, only briefly mentioning it in a letter to priests just before Easter Sunday at the end of March. And this is perhaps the first time the pope will directly address the issue directly with the cardinals when they come here next week -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Alessio Vinci, we'll continue to follow this story. Thank you so much for the latest there from Rome.

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