Pope Francis strongly condemned clerical sex abuse in his annual Christmas speech to the Roman Curia Friday, promising that the Church leadership will never again cover-up abuse or treat such cases lightly.
“Let it be clear that before these abominations the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes. The Church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case,” Pope Francis said in Vatican’s City’s Apostolic Palace Dec. 21.
“It is undeniable that some in the past, out of irresponsibility, disbelief, lack of training, inexperience, or spiritual and human short-sightedness, treated many cases without the seriousness and promptness that was due. That must never happen again. This is the choice and the decision of the whole Church,” he continued.
The 40 minute address to the cardinals and members of the Roman Curia largely focused on the “scourges of abuse and infidelity.”
The pope delivered a decisive message to those “consecrated men, ‘the Lord’s anointed’, who today “abuse the vulnerable, taking advantage of their position and their power of persuasion.”
With his hands visibly shaking as he read from his prepared text, the pope addressed abusive clergy directly, telling them to prepare to face justice.
“To those who abuse minors I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice,” Pope Francis said.
“Remember the words of Christ: ‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals! For it is necessary that scandals come, but woe to the man by whom the scandal comes!’” he added.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.