Pope Francis has called on believers not to be influenced by concerns about the reputation of the Catholic Church when dealing with abuse scandals but to focus on the well-being of abuse victims.
“Only by facing the reality of these terrible events and humbly asking for forgiveness from the victims and their families can the Church find a way to be once again a reliable place of refuge and safety for those in need,” Francis said in a video message.
“Admitting our mistakes and failures can make us feel vulnerable and weak,” Francis said. “But it can also lead to a time of miraculous grace, of inner purification that opens new horizons for us to love and serve one another. If we admit our mistakes, we have nothing to fear.”
The Catholic Church has been rocked for years by abuse scandals in several countries, including Germany. The prelate’s speech was addressed to participants at a child protection conference in Warsaw with delegates from 20 Central and Eastern European countries.