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Pope responds to latest church abuse report

Pope Francis praying Sunday in St.Peter’s Square at the Vatican Associated Press/Photo by Gregorio Borgia (file)

Pope responds to latest church abuse report

In a letter to Catholics around the world, Pope Francis on Monday condemned the crime of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up by church leaders. Scandal has once again embroiled the Roman Catholic Church following the release last week of a grand jury report on widespread abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses. Ahead of a trip this coming weekend to Ireland, where the sexual sin of priests has drained the church of much of its credibility, the pope called for change and accountability.

“With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives,” Francis wrote. “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”

The pope’s critics pointed out that the letter did not list specific ideas for punishing abusers and those known to have protected them. Several cardinals implicated in sex scandals around the world, including in Australia, Chile, and Honduras, still serve on the pope’s Cabinet of close advisers.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is WORLD’s executive editor for news. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kan.


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