Pope Francis apologizes for abuse scandal, says Church deserves to pay
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Pope Francis has made his strongest statement yet about the scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis made clear that victims of abuse deserved an apology as well as compensation for what they have suffered. He reaffirmed that the Church will be committed to punishing evildoers, not protecting them.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Last week, Pope Francis met with the International Catholic Child Bureau at the Vatican and he issued an apology for all children abused by clergy.
Pope Francis explained that is was hard for him to believe that "men of the Church" would commit such horrors, but he did not deny that they have done so, nor did he shirk responsibility. With all humility he apologized and firmly accepted responsibility while promising justice.
"The Church is aware of this damage" Pope Francis said. He explained that the Church is committed to protecting children, reporting cases to local authorities, and punishing the guilty. He also said the Church deserves to pay settlements to the victims.
Last December, Pope Francis created a commission dedicated to developing ways to protect children in the Church.
"We don't want to take a step backward in dealing with this problem and with the sanctions that must be imposed," Pope Francis said. "On the contrary, I believe we must be very strong. You don't play with children's lives!"
During the meeting, Pope Francis also reinforced his belief that children should be raised by their parents instead of by schools intended to force ideology on them. He explained that children have the right "to grow in a family with a mother and father able to create a healthy environment for their growth and affective maturity. maturing in relationship to the masculinity and femininity of a father and a mother."
He also explained that children can't be raised in "glass jars" but instead must be given values that prepare them for life in the real world.
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