news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | July 7, 2014 | 7:57 PM IST 

With over 3000 credible accusations of sexual abuse by priests referred to the Vatican in the past decade and over 800 clerics defrocked, Pope Francis today apologized for what he said was a “sacrilegious cult” of child sexual abuse by the Church. 

“For some time now I have felt in my heart deep pain and suffering…so much time hidden, camouflaged with complicity that cannot be explained until someone realized that Jesus was looking,” he said at a mass where adult victims were present. He said the Church must cry, make reparations and seek mercy for what it had done to people around the world. 

In what is widely seen as his most strident comment and gesture on an issue that has plagued the church for decades, the Pope said no one will be spared including those including Bishops who shielded perpetrators of sexual abuse in the Church. 

The meeting today included six victims, two each from Germany, Ireland and Britain. The meetings which last for over four hours were closed to the media. Cases of abuse by priests have been recorded and documented across Europe but it was in the United States that the punishments commenced. The Church in the United States has paid $2.5 billion in compensation to victims of sexual abuse by priests.

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