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Pope asks for forgiveness for "evil" of priestly child abuse

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 01:15

April 11 - Pope Francis asks for forgiveness for the abuse of children by priests. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Pope Francis makes his first public plea for forgiveness for the "evil" committed by priests who molested children. At a meeting with the International Catholic Child Bureau Friday, he used some of his strongest words yet on the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: ''I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests, quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests, to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children. The church is aware of this damage, it is a personal, moral damage made by them, but they are men of the church. We are not going to take a step backwards as far as the treatment of these problems goes nor as far as the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary. I think we must be very strong. You don't joke around with children.'' He did not specify whether "sanctions" would be Church-enforced or involve the civil justice forces in the countries where the abuse occurred. In the past, the Church has been accused of moving known abusers from parish to parish instead of defrocking them immediately.

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Pope asks for forgiveness for "evil" of priestly child abuse

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 01:15