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Published On: Tue, Apr 15th, 2014

Pope Francis apologizes for Catholic Church’s ‘evil’ sex abuse scandal

Pope Francis I offered his more sincere apologies to the world for the sexual abuse scandal associated with the Catholic Church. The Pope asked for forgiveness “for the damage” that abusive priests have inflicted on children and pledged that the Catholic Church “will not take one step backward” in efforts to address the crisis.

Pope Francis I  March 2013 photo by Casa Rosada via wikipedia

Pope Francis I March 2013 photo by Casa Rosada via wikipedia

“I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil that some priests — quite a few in number, though not compared to the total number — and to ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done by sexually abusing children,” Francis said.

“The church is aware of this damage,” he said.

“It is personal and moral damage, but carried out by men of the church. And we do not want to take one step backward in dealing with this problem and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, I believe that we have to be very firm. Because you cannot take chances with children!”

Pope Francis made these remarks during an unscripted addition to his speech which he was delivering to the International Catholic Child Bureau, a French Catholic network that works to promote the rights of children.

His comments were seen as a further effort to counter the criticism he has received for not addressing the clerical abuse crisis as quickly and aggressively as he has other issues.

Last December, the Vatican announced that Francis would name a commission to advise him on establishing rules and best practices for dioceses around the world to combat the abuse of children, and in March the pope appointed the first members.

Half of them are women and one, Marie Collins of Ireland, was sexually abused by a priest as a child.

The appointments raised hopes that the commission would for the first time try to tackle the crucial issue of disciplining bishops who do not act to curb suspected abusers.

“This may be the first time a pope has talked of sanctions against complicit bishops. But that is all it is: talk,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a leading victims advocacy group.

“On church governance, church finances, and simple living, he acts,” Dorris said Friday. “On the rape of children, he talks.”

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  1. carolineredbrook says:

    Actions speak louder than words and so far The Pope has done very little to help victims and to catch the predators. Crimes against children are so heinous that accused pedophiles like many priests, Sylvain Kustyan, Jerry Sandusky, etc. AND their enablers,must be apprehended before they have years to continue to destroy young lives. Sandusky is now safely behind bars. But unfortunately, Kustyan, who has been formally charged with two counts each of 1st Degree Sodomy and Sexual Abuse of a ten-year-old little boy, fled to avoid imminent arrest. Kustyan, formerly of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Hermin/ Mazingarbe, France, as an English teacher, has led numerous groups of schoolchildren on trips to the US, the UK and Ireland.. Pedophiles condemn their victims to a lifetime of emotional and psychological trauma and often permanent physical ailments as well. Since the average pedophile has 300 different victims in their lifetime and since the recidivism rate among pedophiles is virtually 100% and since there is no effective treatment and no known cure they must be stopped ASAP!

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