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I humbly ask forgiveness

· To the victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, the Pope promises to no longer tolerate harm inflicted on minors ·

And he underlines that in the ministry of the Church there is no room for this 'sacrilegious cult'

He asked for the grace to weep. Pope Francis — with six victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy present at a Mass he celebrated at Santa Martha on Monday morning, 7 July — confessed to having had relived Peter's emotions when the Apostle met Jesus' gaze, after being questioned by the Sanhedrin, and then wept.

Pope Francis felt the same way when he met the gaze of the three men and three women, as well as others in the past, who had “the courage” to “tell the truth”. And he humbly asked of them, and undoubtedly of all the other numerous victims, forgiveness.

For some time, he told them, “I have felt in my heart deep pain and suffering”. For too long, he added, it was hidden in the Church “with a complicity that cannot be explained until someone realized that Jesus was looking”. Those complicit were joined by others. And “those few who began to weep have touched our conscience for this crime and grave sin”.

For this reason the Pope placed himself spiritually in front of all victims and committed himself “not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not”. “There is no place in the Church’s ministry for those who commit these abuses”, he said. From now on all bishops must “carry out their pastoral ministry with the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors”. And “they will be held accountable”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 15, 2018

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