Shame and repentance on sex abuse

'Forgive atrocities' asks Francis

(ANSA) - Vatican City, August 20 - Pope Francis on Monday voiced "shame and repentance" on the latest clerical sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church, saying authorities had acted too late.
    In a letter to the People of God, Francis said "with shame and repentance, as an ecclesiastical community, we admit that we did not go where we should have gone, that we did not act in time recognising the scope and gravity of the damage that was being caused to so many lives".
    He said "We neglected and abandoned the little ones".
    The pope said priestly sex abuse of children is a crime that "generates deep wounds".
    Francis said "we ask forgiveness" for the "atrocities" committed in priestly sex abuse of minors.