"I think with steps we can begin to regain some of that, but I do not think myself, in my own lifetime, as a bishop, that it will end. I think it's going to take a long time," the cardinal told ABC13 anchor Tom Koch in Rome Wednesday.
Cardinal DiNardo is one of the many Catholic Church leaders in Vatican City for a historic summit on preventing the sexual abuse of children by clergy members.
Pope Francis called the summit, which starts Thursday. Day one will address responsibility, while days two and three will address accountability and transparency, respectively. The event will end with mass on Sunday.
In the interview Wednesday with ABC13, Cardinal DiNardo said that he believes the pontiff realizes how devastating the sexual abuse is to the victims, the church and evangelization.
"I think Pope Francis gets it completely. I think he realizes now what a block this is to evangelization, but the reason this is a block to evangelization is because this is wicked. This is evil and it has to be rooted out, and he said it pretty intensely," the cardinal told ABC13.
The summit comes about a month after Texas Catholic Leaders released the names of clergy accused of sex abuse from 1950 until now.
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"We are working very hard at this. I want this thing to end, this scourge. We have to work on it to move ahead and make sure to keep watch over the church and the kinds of things we promised to do and take care of those who hurt," the cardinal said.
Cardinal DiNardo told ABC13 anchor Tom Koch that although he has been meeting with sex abuse victims for the last 16 years, he's spoken with even more of them in the last few months. They all said they are asking the church, especially those in authority, to recognize and listen to them.
He also added that he is committed to transparency.
"Always be clear when an allegation comes forward. Be clear when someone has to be set aside. Be clear with yourself that you follow all of the protocols that we have agreed upon as bishops in the United States. Also be clear to the gospel," the cardinal said when asked what being transparent meant to him. "People are hurting, so you have to bring forward compassion and the kindness of the Lord."
The summit starts at 2 a.m. Houston time on Thursday.
WATCH MORE: Interview with ABC13's Tom Koch and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
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