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Pope kicks off new year renewing 'zero tolerance' policy on abuse


Pope Francis 2 at the general audience in St Peters Square April 13 2016. Photo credit: Daniel Ibaez CNA

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Vatican City, Jan 2, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- In a letter sent to bishops around the world for the feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis lamented the many children who suffer from war, slavery and various forms of abuse, including within the Church.

The Church not only hears the “cries of pain” of her children who suffer from war, slavery and malnutrition, he said, but she also weeps “because she recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests.”

“It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity. We regret this deeply and we beg forgiveness.”

Francis condemned the sin “of failing to help,” of “covering up and denial” and the sin of “the abuse of power” that happened in many cases.  

In celebrating the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis asked his brother bishops to renew “our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.”

“Let us find the courage needed to take all necessary measures and to protect in every way the lives of our children, so that such crimes may never be repeated. In this area, let us adhere, clearly and faithfully, to zero tolerance.”

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