Pope Francis will meet with sexual abuse victims today for the first time since he became the pontiff. The victims of abuse from Britain, Ireland and Germany, planned to attend Mass Monday morning before speaking with the pope.
The pope has spoken out against sexual abuse on several occasions. In May he called the act “an ugly crime...because a priest who does this betrays the body of the Lord.”
Some have criticized Francis for failing to do enough to stop sexual abuse in the church. David Greenwood, Stop Church Child Abuse chairman said, "I cannot understand why any survivor of clergy sex abuse would want to meet the Pope. My view is that the Pope should be visiting them in their own homes and begging their forgiveness.”
In April Francis said, "The Church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and 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."
Pope Francis did make a committee to focus on abuse in the church; many applauded the move.
Publication date: July 7, 2014