Pope Francis: Not one step back - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Pope Francis: Not one step back when it comes to clerical sexual abuse

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Pope Francis has asked for the public's forgiveness for priests who have sexually abused children.

Francis made the statement to a Catholic children's organization at the Vatican on Friday.

"I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests - quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests - to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children," Francis said, according to the website Vatican Radio.

Francis said the acts of sexual abuse by priests were "evil," according to the website, and that these priests had committed "moral damage."

This is one of the strongest official statements made yet from the Catholic church regarding clerical sexual abuse.

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