Pope on sex abuse: "We showed no care for the little ones"

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has issued a letter to Catholics around the world condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and cover-up and demanding accountability, in response to new revelations in the United States of decades of misconduct by the Catholic Church.

EMBED More News Videos

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says - ABC's Emily Rau reports during Action News at noon on August 15, 2018.

Francis begged forgiveness for the pain suffered by victims and said lay Catholics must be involved in any effort to root out abuse and cover-up. He blasted the self-referential clerical culture that has been blamed for the abuse crisis, with church leaders more concerned for their reputation than the safety of children.

Francis wrote: "We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them."

EMBED More News Videos

Jim Gardner interviews PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro regarding grand jury report on alleged priest abuse on August 14, 2018.

The Vatican issued the letter Monday, ahead of Francis' trip this weekend to Ireland that is expected to be dominated by the abuse crisis.

EMBED More News Videos

Allentown parishioners react to grand jury report detailing sexual abuse by priests, as reported by Christie Ileto on Action News at 11 on August 14, 2018.

ONLINE: Read Pope Francis' letter


Send a News Tip to Action News
Learn More About 6abc Apps
Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.