Pope: Covering up abuse 'favors the spread of evil'

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ROCKVILLE CENTRE -

Pope Francis vowed to combat sexual abuse in the church while wrapping up an unprecedented summit at the Vatican.

In a passionate speech on the final day of the summit, the pope vowed to fight clergy abuse with the wrath of God. He called the abuse scandal a universal problem in the Catholic church while addressing nearly 200 bishops and other senior members of the clergy.

The pope also promised to end coverups during the four-day conference, saying, "the covering up of abuses favors the spread of evil."

It comes less than one week after two women came forward to accuse the former bishop of Rockville Centre, John McGann, of sexually abusing them in the 1960s.

McGann died in 2002 at age 77.

News 12 spoke with parishioners at Saint Agnes Cathedral Sunday, where McGann frequently presided over Mass. Some say the scandal has been a stain on the Catholic Church for too long, and they think Pope Francis is finally addressing the issue with seriousness.

At the end of the summit, officials are expected to announce a new child protection policy for Vatican City.

MORE COVERAGE: Woman claims sexual abuse by priest, cover-up by bishop
 2 women claim late Bishop McGann, LI clergy members sexually abused them 

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