[Philadelphia, PA]--Last week, Pope Francis made his journey to the United States. On the final day of his trip, Pope Francis spent the day at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and spoke to victims of child sexual abuse that occurred within the Catholic Church.
The victims suffered abuse as minors, either by clergy, family members or teachers. Pope Francis spoke to each member of the group and had a moment of prayer with them. The Pope then thanked the victims for bravely sharing their stories and stated that they were “true heralds of mercy.”
The Pope urges that sexual abuse in the church can no longer be ignored. He believes that we need to protect our youth and that members of the church who have been responsible for the abuse “are held accountable.”
“I constantly have in mind the people who had the responsibility to take care of these tender children, that violated that trust and caused them great pain,” the Pope said. “I am profoundly sorry. God weeps.”
Pope Francis added: “God weeps for the sexual abuse of children. These cannot be maintained in secret, and I commit to a careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected and all responsible will be held accountable. Those who have survived this abuse have become true heralds of mercy, humbly. We owe each of them our gratitude for their great value as they have had to suffer this terrible abuse sexual abuse of minors.”
If true to his word, Pope Francis will help with the fight against child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. Through preventative methods, a new generation of children within the Catholic Church may be saved from dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse.