Pope apologizes for priests’ sex abuse, promises strong response

The Church “will not take one step backward” in efforts to punish those who abuse children, Pope Francis promised in an April 11 address to the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE).

Apr 16, 2014

VATICAN: The Church “will not take one step backward” in efforts to punish those who abuse children, Pope Francis promised in an April 11 address to the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE).

The Pontiff vowed to continue with “the sanctions that must be imposed,” and said in fact they “have to be even stronger,” to ensure the safety of children. Voicing his regret for the violations by some priests, he said,

“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.”

In his remarks to BICE the Pope also condemned slave labour, the exploitation of children as soldiers, and all other forms of violence against children. He affirmed that every child has the natural right to live “with a father and a mother” in a secure family environment.

The Holy Father also decried educational experiments designed to instill a certain ideology. He said: “The horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the 20th century have not disappeared.” The same tendencies, he said, can be found in plans that “with the pretense of modernity,” try to promote “only one form of thought.” Breaking from his prepared text, the Pope said that he had recently spoken with a teacher who remarked: “I don’t know if we’re sending the kids to school or a re-education camp.” -- CWN

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