A range of challenges to family life in the 21st century — from poor communication and alienation to sexual misconduct and the treatment of LGBT persons — dominated conversation at the Catholic Church’s World Meeting of Families this week. Participants in the four-day pastoral congress heard talks by church leaders in the United States and beyond as they sought encouragement in the wake of ongoing abuse scandals and shifting societal attitudes about sexuality. Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, addressed the clergy sexual abuse crisis on the heels of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that found child sex abuse by more than 300 priests over a 70-year period. He said that church leaders run the risk of forfeiting moral authority if they don’t consistently stand up for every person’s dignity.
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