Church Sex Abuse Revelations Are Unwelcome Distraction As Pope Francis Visits Scandal-Hit Portugal

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Pope Francis is making a five-day visit next week to Portugal, where a scandal that erupted earlier this year over Catholic Church sex abuse is still simmering.

A panel of experts reported in February that at least 4,815 Portuguese boys and girls had been abused since 1950.

Before those findings, senior Portuguese church officials maintained there had been only a few cases of clergy sex abuse.

Church officials have hesitated over such central issues as reparations for victims and whether to suspend active members of the clergy named in the panel’s report.

The scandal is unfinished business in Portugal, where Francis will attend World Youth Day.

Hundreds of thousands of people are due to attend.

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