Pope Francis on Monday has described the act of pedophilia among priests as a betrayal of the call of God, saying anybody that is involved in sexual abuse of children will be punished.
The Pontiff stated this hours after meeting people who were abused in their youth by members of the clergy.
He spent about 30 minutes with three women and two men who were sexually abused by clergy members.
He said, “Abusing children was ``almost a sacrilege’’ and a betrayal of the call of God for a priest. And those who have covered up these things are also guilty, even some bishops have covered up, it is a very bad thing.”
I promise that all those responsible for the sexual abuse of children will be punished,’’ Francis later told a gathering of bishops, saying he felt ``deep shame’’ about the acts.
The pope told the audience that ``these crimes can no longer be kept secret’’, and said that ``God weeps’’ because of what happened.