Network, a national Catholic social justice lobby, sent their invite directly to the Romney campaign's communication director on Wednesday, according to Stephanie Niedringerhaus, the group's communications coordinator. Reuters

Catholic leaders from around the world have gathered in Rome for talks hosted by the Vatican on finding ways to stamp out paedophilia in the Church.

Bishops from 100 countries and the leaders of 33 religious orders have convened at Gregorian University in Rome for the four-day meeting.

Abuse victims, who are among the speakers at the conference, will be asked for forgiveness.

The symposium, Towards Healing and Renewal, aims to launch a Centre for Child Protection in Germany to fight sex abuse by the clergy in the church worldwide.

Marie Collins, an Irish victim of rape by a Catholic priest, will attend the summit. Collins, who was raped by a priest at a hospital in Dublin when she was a girl, has become a leading voice in pushing for justice for victims in Ireland. She said her decision to attend was not an easy one.

"Despite apologies for the actions of the abusers, there have been few apologies for the protection given to them by their superiors," Collins told

"There seems to be a lack of penalty for any of these men in leadership who deliberately or negligently covered up for abusers."

The conference follows a warning from the Vatican's top anti-abuse prosecutor, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, that the Catholic Church in Asia is falling behind in the fight against paedophilia because of cultural differences over what constitutes child abuse.

''The problem is very accentuated in Asia,'' Scicluna said, adding: ''There is an awareness that there is abuse and something needs to be done.''

In 2010, a report by an independent commission, set up by former Dutch government minister Wim Deetman, revealed that one in five Dutch children who spent time at Catholic institutions had been sexually abused.