In his presentation Saturday, Munich's Archbishop Cardinal Reinhart Marx said when it comes to abuse cases, there is no alternative to transparency.
"We have to look at what we can do to regain credibility," he said. "Let us take a courageous step."
Chicago's Cardinal Blase Cupich knows it may take several steps to rebuild trust.
"We realize that there are understandable reasons why people have hesitation in trusting, that should not stop us from doing the right thing," Cupich said.
At the closing of Saturday's meeting, bishops participated in a Penitential Liturgy, a time of open confession and asking forgiveness. It has deep meaning considering the improper actions or inaction of some bishops over the years.
"I think that we do have to acknowledge what we have done and what we have failed to do," said Cupich. "I would, however, be careful about saying that we are going to ask victim survivors for forgiveness. We really don't merit that. That has to come on their own."
Pope Francis started the evening Penitential Liturgy by praying, "give us the courage to tell the truth and the wisdom to know we need forgiveness."
Earlier Saturday at the Piazza di Popolo in Rome, not far from the Vatican summit, protestors including Chicagoan Maria Bergh called for a visible change in the way the Catholic Church is run.
"I would like to see the Church hierarchy finding a place for ordinary people to have a voice and decision-making power," Bergh said.
In the first Saturday summit presentation, Sister Veronica Openibo from Nigeria called out Church leadership on abuse cover-ups.
"We claim the Ten Commandments and parade ourselves as being the models of good behavior," Openibo said. She asked the assembled bishops, "Why did we keep silent for so long?"
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