Pope Francis admitted Tuesday that the church has failed to adequately respond to and condemn sexual abuse and has therefore disillusioned younger believers.
Francis made the comments on the final day of his Baltic pilgrimage — the same day that Germany released a report detailing over 3,000 cases of sexual abuse in the country’s Catholic Church, perpetrated by over 1,000 predator priests. The pontiff said the church’s failure to confront sexual abuse has driven young people away from the church and that the church must change if it is to truly minister to younger generations. (RELATED: Pope Francis Doubles Down On Satan Accusing The Church Claim, Tells Christians To Accuse Themselves)
“They are outraged by sexual and economic scandals that do not meet with clear condemnation, by our unpreparedness to really appreciate the lives and sensibilities of the young, and simply by the passive role we assign them,” Francis said to a crowd of young Catholic, Orthodox and Lutheran believers in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, according to The Associated Press.
The pontiff said the church must adjust in order to truly minister to young people in the face of the issues that have beset them.
“We ourselves need to be converted,” Francis said. “We have to realize that in order to stand by your side we need to change many situations that, in the end, put you off.”
Francis admitted fault on behalf of the church publicly, however, he still has yet to address allegations from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano that he played a part in covering up allegations of sexual abuse against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and thus enabled part of the sexual abuse crisis in the U.S. church. The pope initially asserted he would not say a word about the allegations and accused those who expressed outrage over the scandals and brought allegations against clergy of doing the work of Satan.
The Vatican is expected to provide “clarifications” concerning Vigano’s allegations in the near future.
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