Pope Francis, during morning Mass at the Church of Santa Marta, has said that he “will not tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual” and has vowed to “do everything in our power to ensure that these sins have no place in the Church.”
The Mass was attended by six victims of clerical abuse and the Pope praised them for their courage to speak the truth. He described their abuse as something more than despicable actions, suggesting the perpetrators’ actions were like a “sacrilegious cult, because these boys and girls had been entrusted to the priestly charism in order to be brought to God.”
The Pope then sought the forgiveness of all abuse victims, not only for the grave sin of abuse, but also for omissions on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse.
The Pope, not for the first time, emphasised the need for the Church to develop better policies and procedures for the protection of minors.
In a telling reference to scripture the Pope referred to Jesus’ words to Peter after his resurrection when he said “Go back and feed my sheep.” The Pope said he would add to that: “let no wolf enter the sheepfold.”
Click here to read the full text of the Pope’s homily: