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Pope Francis condemns child sex abuse and Church cover-ups

August 20, 2018 4:05 pm

Pope Francis has condemned the “atrocities” of child sex abuse and clerical cover-ups in a letter to the world’s 1.2bn Roman Catholics.

The letter to “the People of God” calls for an end to the “culture of death” in the Church, addresses failures to deal with abuse and asks for forgiveness.

Last week a grand jury report detailed seven decades of abuse in Pennsylvania.

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The landmark investigation found more than 1,000 identifiable minors had been abused by 300 priests in the US state.

Thousands more are thought to have fallen victim. The inquiry found evidence of systematic cover-ups by the Church, with many cases now too old for prosecution.

After the report was made public, the Vatican said the Pope was on the side of victims against “predator” priests.

What did the Pope say?
The Vatican says it is the first time a Pope has addressed a letter to the entire Catholic population on the topic of sex abuse.

In Monday’s 2,000-word letter he addresses the US scandal directly and acknowledges the Church’s role in failing to act sooner.

He describes the “heart-wrenching pain of these victims” that were “long ignored, kept quiet or silenced”.

Read the letter in full

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