Pope seeks forgiveness for abuser priests

The Pope has insisted the Church “will not take one step backward” on the issue of child abuse and has sought forgiveness for the actions of errant priests in the Church.

Addressing a meeting of BICE (International Catholic Child Bureau) in Rome on April 11, the Pontiff made his comments which were quickly taken up by media worldwide.

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,” he told the gathering. “The Church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children.”

Linked with this, the Pope stressed: “we must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.”