Vatican warns sex abuse scandal is jeopardizing credibility of Catholic Church

VATICAN CITY (AP) -
Organizers of Vatican summit on sex abuse prevention are warning that the credibility of the Catholic Church is in jeopardy over the abuse scandal and are urging participants to meet with victims to hear their pain firsthand.

In a letter sent Tuesday to the presidents of bishops' conferences worldwide, organizers said the church must develop a "comprehensive and communal response" to the crisis, and that the first step is "acknowledging the truth of what has happened."

Pope Francis invited the church leaders to the Feb. 21-24 summit to respond to the latest eruption of the scandal in the U.S., Chile and elsewhere. The Vatican said the summit would focus on three main areas: responsibility, accountability and transparency.

Organizers wrote: "Each of us needs to own this challenge."