Pope Francis Says Church Must Do More to Punish Sex Abusers

Pope Francis asked for forgiveness on behalf of priests who sexually abused children and said the Catholic Church must do more to rectify the damage and punish the offenders.

“I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests, quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests, to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,” Francis said today in a statement posted to the website of Vatican Radio. “We will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in Rome at afrye@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at acrawford6@bloomberg.net

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