Pope Francis dedicated his Christmas message in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall on Friday to the issue that he lamented as having “undermined” the credibility of the church: the ongoing pedophilia scandal allegedly involving hundreds of Catholic Church officials.
In his strongest statement on the scandal yet, the Pope urged all priests who have molested or raped children to turn themselves in — and prepare themselves for “divine justice.”
“Convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice,” Pope Francis told predatory priests.
The church, Francis vowed, will “never again” cover up abuse by clergy. “Let it be clear that before these abominations the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes,” he said, USA Today reports.
“This is no easy task, since the guilty are capable of skillfully covering their tracks,” he said. To help bring the predators to justice, the Pope urged those who have been abused to come forward: “The Church asks that people not be silent, but bring it objectively to light, since the greater scandal in this matter is that of cloaking the truth.” – READ MORE