In a letter sent to bishops around the world for the feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis lamented the many children who suffer from war, slavery and various forms of abuse, including within the Church.
The Church not only hears the “cries of pain” of her children who suffer from war, slavery and malnutrition, he said, but she also weeps “because she recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests.”
“It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity. We regret this deeply and we beg forgiveness.” Francis condemned the sin “of failing to help,” of “covering up and denial” and the sin of “the abuse of power” that happened in many cases.
In celebrating the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis asked his brother bishops to renew “our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.”