DUBLIN — Pope Francis said in a letter released Monday by the Vatican that the Catholic Church has not dealt properly with “crimes” against children and needs to prevent sexual abuses from being “covered up and perpetuated.”
“We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them,” Francis wrote.
The 2,000-word letter addressed to the “People of God” marks one of Francis’s most direct attempts to address the painful abuse cases that have eroded the Roman Catholic Church’s credibility and prompted sharp calls from inside and outside the church for improved accountability.
Francis did not lay out any concrete steps the Vatican would take, but he acknowledged that systemic change is needed.
“Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such [abuses] from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated,” Francis wrote.