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Dolan: Pope Francis Likely to Meet Sex Abuse Victims

In an exclusive interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Pope Francis will likely meet with victims of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal.

“He probably will…I hope he does. Lord knows I have, and Lord knows, I think most bishops and pastors have,” Dolan said of the pope ahead of his one-year anniversary as leader of the Catholic church.

Pope Benedict XVI’s visited with several people abused by priests in the Boston area when he visited the U.S. in 2008.

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Dolan also praised Pope Francis for pushing back on those who have been critical of the Church in the aftermath of the scandal. The pope told an Italian newspaper this week that “no one has done more” do combat the exploitation of children, and that the problem extends beyond the church.

“It afflicts families, every institution, every religion," Dolan said. "We're rather grateful that our church, which was an example of what not to do in the past, in the last 12, 13, 14 years has become an example of what to do. And why does the church keep being picked on? I was glad the pope said that. I think he's right on target.”

Dolan also said “bravo” to football player Michael Sam for revealing his is gay ahead of the NFL draft.

“The same Bible that tells us, that teaches us, well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people,” Dolan said. “So I would say, ‘Bravo.’”

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The full interview will air Sunday on “Meet The Press.”