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Catholic Pope Francis met privately with six survivors of clergy sexual abuse at the Vatican — a meeting facilitated by Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
Before the one-on-one meetings, the Pope held a Mass in Vatican City early Monday morning. In his homily, he begged for forgiveness "for the sins of omission" by church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse. He also pledged that bishops "will be held accountable."
While many Catholic advocacy groups said that the Pope's words are an important first step, they want to see specific actions from the Pope to root out sexual abuse and hold priests accountable.
The New York Times: Pope Francis Asks Victims Of Sex Abuse For Forgiveness
- "By meeting with six victims from three countries, Francis was trying to demonstrate resolve — and personal empathy — to address an issue on which he has faced criticism in what has otherwise been a wildly popular papacy. While some advocates for victims praised the meeting, others dismissed it as little more than a publicity stunt."
Irish Independent: Irish Abuse Survivor Describes Meeting With Pope As A 'Huge Vindication'
- According to Marie Kane, the Pope “listened intently” to her and “at times seemed frustrated by what he was hearing” about her experiences.
Vatican News: Pope Francis’ Homily At Mass With Sex Abuse Survivors
- Before God and his people I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you. And I humbly ask forgiveness. I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves. This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk.
This segment aired on July 7, 2014.
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