(NYTIMES) — PHILADELPHIA — At the start of an otherwise joyous and well-received trip to the United States, Pope Francis hit one seriously sour note: He praised American bishops for their handling of the sexual abuse scandal and told priests he felt their pain — leaving abuse victims stunned and infuriated, asking why he neglected to even acknowledge their anguish.
On the last day of his journey, Francis stepped to a lectern here before hundreds of seminarians and bishops from around the world and tried to salve the open wound. He said that he had met in private with a group of victims and pledged that “all responsible will be held accountable.”
“God weeps” at the sexual abuse of children, he said in an early translation from Spanish of his remarks added to the start of a scripted address in the chapel at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary here on Sunday. “I commit to the careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected.”
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