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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2014-04-11 16:55:12
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Pope asks pardon for sexual abuse of children by priests

April 11, 2014 - Pope Francis on Friday asked pardon for the sexual abuse of children committed by some priests, and pledged to tackle the plague without compromise. “The Church is aware of this harm,” the Pope told a delegation from the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE) an NGO defending the rights and dignity of children worldwide. Setting aside his prepared text the Pope said, “I feel it my duty to assume responsibility for all the evil of some priests – quite a few compared to the total number – and to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have caused for having sexually abused children.” “The Church is aware of this damage,” he said, “a personal and moral damage carried out by men of the Church.” “And we don’t want to go back on our resolve to tackle this problem and impose sanctions,” Pope Francis declared. “On the contrary I believe, we’ve got be very bold,” because he said, “with children, we cannot take things lightly.”
The Holy Father encouraged various programmes of BICE in fighting the scourge of child slavery, child soldiers and every type of violence against minors. He thanked the group saying their efforts are a concrete expression of the special of Jesus for children. Among other things, the Pope also underscored the right of children to a family with a mother and a father, to be able to grow and develop in a suitable environment. He called for support to the right of parents to have moral and religious education for their children.


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