The Pope held a rare meeting with more than 100 cardinals from around the world for discussions on policy.

Religious freedom – the persecution of Christians in some countries and a dispute with China – and the clerical sex abuse scandal were on the agenda.

They also discussed the decision to invite disaffected Anglican bishops and priests to join the Catholic Church.

The talks were held before the elevation of 24 new cardinals by Pope Benedict at a ceremony today.

Some cardinals have criticised the attention given to the sex abuse scandal.

“I’m tired of talking about this topic. I’ve had it up to here,” Mexican cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan told reporters on the margins of the talks.

“It’s a real media storm,” he said.