In a letter dated Dec. 28 but released on Monday, January 2, 2016 Pope Francis said that priests who abused children should not be tolerated when they asked for forgiveness.
“I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst,” the letter said.
“The Church recognises 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.
“I would like us 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’,” he said.
The Pope is reported to have met victims of sexual abuses in the Vatican and during his trips to several countries.
He had always stood his ground and rooting out sexual abuse among priests but critics insist he had not done enough to ensure Bishops do not pardon such priests.
He however said: “We join in the pain of the victims and weep for this sin – the sin of what happened, the sin of failing to help, the sin of covering up and denial, the sin of the abuse of power.”
In 2015, Francis ordered the trial and defrocking of a Polish archbishop accused of paying for sex with minors in the Dominican Republic, Reuters reports.
The year before, he set up a Vatican commission, including some victims, to advise local Churches on how to prevent abuse.
But some members have complained about the slow pace of change in the Vatican. (Reuters/NAN)