Pope Francis yesterday said the report estimating that more than 200,000 children were abused in the Church in France over the past 70 years is “a moment of shame”. Source: CNA.
“To the victims, I wish to express my sadness and my pain for the traumas they have endured and my shame, our shame, my shame that for so long the Church has been incapable of putting this at the center of its concerns, assuring them of my prayers,” he said during his weekly general audience at the Vatican. .
The Pope’s comments came a day after the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE) published a nearly 2,500-page final report estimating that 216,000 children were abused by priests, deacons, monks, or nuns in France from 1950 to 2020.
The study also said that “more than a third of sexual assaults within the Catholic Church were committed, not by clergy or monks, but by lay people.”
Before entering the Paul VI Hall for his general audience, Pope Francis took a moment to pray with four French bishops for the victims of sexual abuse.
“I encourage the bishops and religious superiors to continue to do everything possible so that similar tragedies might not be repeated,” Pope Francis said at the general audience.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley, the president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, also issued a statement yesterday, calling the report an “indictment of the failures of leadership in the Church.”
‘This is a moment of shame’: Pope Francis expresses sorrow at French abuse report (By Courtney Mares, CNA)