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Pope Francis

Days after footage showed Pope Francis refusing to let lay Roman Catholics kiss the papal ring, the pontiff explained it was an attempt to stop the spread of germs. On Wednesday Francis allowed 85-year-old Sr. Maria Concetta Esu to kiss his hand during his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Vincenzo Pinto /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Vincenzo Pinto /AFP/Getty Images

77-year-old Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati has stepped down as archbishop of Santiago, Chile. He is accused of covering up multiple claims of sexual abuse. Alessandra Tarantino/AP hide caption

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Alessandra Tarantino/AP

French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said he will offer his resignation to Pope Francis after a court found him guilty of failing to report to authorities allegations of sexual abuse by a priest. Laurent Cipriani/AP hide caption

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Laurent Cipriani/AP

Cardinal George Pell leaves the court in Melbourne, Australia. Pell was convicted on five counts of child sexual assault in December 2018 but that verdict has just been released in Australia. Michael Dodge/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Pope Francis meets Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI prior to the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica on Dec. 8, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican. Vatican Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Vatican Pool/Getty Images

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on Tuesday at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi. His three-day trip to the United Arab Emirates marks the first time a pontiff has ever visited the Arabian Peninsula. Francois Nel/Getty Images hide caption

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Francois Nel/Getty Images

Pope Francis told a gathering of cardinals Friday that clergy who break their vows by sexually abusing children are similar to Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ. Vatican Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Vatican Pool/Getty Images

Cardinal George Pell, shown leaving court in Melbourne in May, was reportedly found guilty of sexual abuse, but Australian media are barred from reporting the news. Robert Cianflone/Getty Images hide caption

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Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Wednesday. Two cardinals with ties to the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandals are no longer on his advisory panel. Andrew Medichini/AP hide caption

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Andrew Medichini/AP

"I am sorry for the late notice, but in fact this was conveyed to me late yesterday afternoon," Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Monday, postponing moves that had been touted as concrete steps in response to the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters hide caption

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Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

A mass for a canonization ceremony of Pope Paul VI and the martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, as well as five other people, was in St Peter's Square at the Vatican, on Sunday. Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Chilean demonstrators light candles during an August vigil in Santiago that protested the sex abuse scandal roiling the Catholic Church. Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl. The two met in 2015 during the pope's visit to Washington, D.C. Gary Cameron/Reuters hide caption

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Gary Cameron/Reuters

Pope Francis has removed Fernando Karadima from the priesthood, seven years after the Vatican found that Karadima had sexually abused minors in Chile. Vladimir Rodas/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Vladimir Rodas/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis released a letter on Wednesday urging Catholics to trust his decision to form an agreement with the Chinese government on the appointment of bishops in China. Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

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Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Archbishop Jose Gomez (left) and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo arrive at the Perugino Gate to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday to discuss the sex abuse crisis within the church. Gregorio Borgia/AP hide caption

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Gregorio Borgia/AP