Pope Francis has concluded his extraordinary summit on preventing clergy sex abuse by vowing to confront abusers with “the wrath of God,” end the cover-ups by their superiors and prioritize victims of this “brazen, aggressive and destructive evil.”
Francis delivered his remarks at the end of Mass on Sunday before 190 Catholic bishops and religious superiors summoned to Rome after a renewed explosion of the clergy abuse scandal sparked a credibility crisis in the Catholic hierarchy and in Francis’ own leadership.
The Jesuit pope noted that the vast majority of sexual abuse happens in the family. But he said the evil of sexual abuse of children becomes even more scandalous when it occurs in the Catholic Church “for it is utterly incompatible with her moral authority and ethical credibility.”
Pope Francis is celebrating a final Mass to conclude his extraordinary summit of Catholic leaders summoned to Rome for a tutorial on preventing clergy sexual abuse and protecting children from predator priests.
The Mass was being celebrated Sunday in the Sala Regia, one of the grand, frescoed reception rooms of the Apostolic Palace.
Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge was delivering the homily; Francis was to offer final remarks at the end of Mass.
Francis summoned 190 presidents of bishops conferences and religious superiors from around the world to attend the four-day meeting to impress upon them that clergy sex abuse and the cover-up of it is a global problem that threatens the very mission of the Catholic Church.