“I hold the stories and the suffering and the sorrow of children who were sexually abused by priests deep in my heart. I remain overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm. I am profoundly sorry. God weeps.
The crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must no longer be held in secret. I pledge the zealous vigilance of the Church to protect children and the promise of accountability for all.
They, the survivors of abuse, have become true heralds of hope and ministers of mercy. We humbly owe each one of them and their families our gratitude for their immense courage to shine the light of Christ on the evil of the sexual abuse of children.
I’m telling you this because I’ve just met with a group of sex abuse victims who are being helped and accompanied here in Philadelphia.”
In his other remarks to the Bishops in Philadelphia, Pope Francis spoke out against “consumerism” and today’s throw-away society, saying “consumerism determines what is important,” “does not “favor bonding and has little to do with human relationships.” He also warned against running after the latest fad in contemporary society.
The Pope said a Christianity which does little in practice, while incessantly “explaining” its teachings “is dangerously unbalanced.” For “all the obstacles” we see before us, he said, “gratitude and appreciation should prevail over concerns and complaints.”