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Pope expresses ‘sadness and pain’ for victims of clergy abuse in France

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Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed “sadness and pain” for victims of clergy abuse in France following the release of a report detailing the depth of abuse for the past 70 years. 

“I would like to express to the victims my sadness and pain for the trauma that they suffered,” the pontiff said at his weekly general audience, according to The Associated Press.

“It is also my shame, our shame, my shame, for the incapacity of the church for too long to put them at the center of its concerns,” he continued.

The comments come after a report from the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE) released on Tuesday found that over 216,000 minors had been abused by Catholic clergy since the 1950s, most of the victims were boys between the ages of 10 and 13.  

The number of victims rises to approximately 330,000 when including victims of people who had other links to the church but were not clergy. 

Over the past 70 years, between 2,900 and 3,200 suspected pedophiles had been in the French Catholic Church.

The Pope on Wednesday called bishops and other superiors to ensure that “similar dramas are not repeated,” the AP reported.

He further called on Catholics in France to “ensure that the church remains a safe house for all.”

Tags Catholic Church Church scandal France Pope Francis Sexual abuse The Pope Vatican

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