(Time) Pope Francis demanded Friday that priests who have raped and molested children turn themselves in and vowed that the Catholic Church will “never again” cover up clergy sex abuse.
Francis dedicated his annual Christmas speech to Vatican bureaucrats to abuse, evidence that a year of devastating revelations of sexual misconduct and cover-up around the globe has shaken his papacy and caused a crisis of confidence in the Catholic hierarchy.
Francis acknowledged that the church in the past had failed to treat the problem seriously, blaming leaders who out of inexperience or short-sightedness acted “irresponsibly” by refusing to believe victims. But he vowed that going forward the church would “never again” cover up or dismiss cases.
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