Pope: I Take 'Personal Responsibility' for Abuse

Victims' groups not appeased by his remarks on priests' scandal
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2014 2:08 PM CDT

Pope Francis asked for forgiveness for the Catholic Church's various sexual abuse scandals today, reports the AP, which notes that it is the first time he, or any pope, has taken responsibility for them. "I feel compelled to take personal responsibility for all the evil that some priests" inflicted on their victims, he said in off-the-cuff remarks to the International Catholic Child Bureau. He vowed to take even stronger actions on the issue, saying, "You don't play around with the lives of children."

But the declaration wasn't enough to satisfy many abuse advocates, the New York Times reports. "#Pope Francis needs to address the cover up and facilitation of abuse by priests, not the acts of abuse themselves. That is the real crime," tweeted the founder of one victim support group. The SNAP Network issued a statement dismissing Francis' remarks as "dreadfully duplicitous," and demanding Francis takes actual steps to stop the abuse that is still happening. "If a husband keeps beating his wife, the tone, tenor or length of his words are irrelevant," the group wrote. (More Pope Francis stories.)

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