- Pope Francis has again raised his voice against priests who engage in molesting minors under their tutelage
- The top cleric on Friday, December 20, urged such corrupt priests to turn themselves into the authorities
- Francis, in a recent statement, admitted that the church has made many grave errors but vowed to do his utmost to correct the wrong
Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church on Friday, December 20, urged predator priests who have physically abused minors to turn themselves in to the authorities.
While it was not immediately clear if Francis was referring to the Church judicial system, civil justice, or both, sources in the church believed it was the first time the pope had made such a direct appeal, making on of the strongest statements he has ever made publicly, Reuters reports.
Francis: "To those who abuse minors I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice."
Speaking on the global sexual abuse crisis, he said:"Let it be clear that, faced with these abominations, the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whoever has committed such crimes. The Church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case."
Francis acknowledged that the church had made grave errors in the past but vowed to make "past mistakes opportunities for eliminating this scourge" from both the church and society at large.
Francis himself made such an error earlier this year when he first strongly defended a bishop in Chile who had been accused of covering up abuse, only later to launch an inquiry and accept the resignation of that bishop and other prelates in the south American country.
PAY ATTENTION: Get the Latest Nigerian News Anywhere 24/7. Spend less on the Internet!
The top cleric said: "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."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that thousands of people converged on the Vatican for the canonization of Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Oscar Romero, two of the towering figures of the 20th-century Catholic Church.
Pope Paul VI oversaw the modernising of church reforms of the 1960s, while Archbishop Romero was a human rights icon murdered for his defense of El Salvador’s poor.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) upgrades to Legit.ng We keep evolving to serve our readers better.
Image of Jesus Christ appears in Ikorodu Church | Legit TV