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The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI has summoned cardinals to Rome on Nov. 19 to discuss the church's response to the clerical sex abuse scandal and other key issues facing the Catholic church.
The meeting announced Monday is being called a "day of reflection and prayer" and will occur a day before the pope installs 24 new cardinals. Many of the world's cardinals were expected to attend that Nov. 20 ceremony.
The pope has been battling the sex abuse allegations rocking the church, its most serious crisis in decades.
The meeting also will discuss threats to religious freedom in the world, relations with other religions and procedures for disaffected Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic church.