Vatican Pool/Getty Images(ROME) — In his annual Christmas address to the Roman Curia Friday morning, Pope Francis spoke about sexual abuse by priests and acknowledged that his church has failed to take the problem seriously.
Francis vowed that, going forward, the Catholic hierarchy would never cover up or dismiss cases again and would “spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes.”
The pope urged sexual abuse victims to speak out and not be silent, saying “the greater scandal in this matter is that of cloaking the truth.”
As for those who abuse minors, he said ‘“convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice.”
Following the speech, as is custom, each person in the audience came up to the pope to greet him.
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