Pope says Church must purge 'scourge' of sex abuse - update2

Francis says families must know their children are safe

(ANSA) - Vatican City, February 5 - Pope Francis said on Thursday that the Catholic Church must rid itself of the "scourge" of child sexual abuse.
    Families must know that their children are safe within the Church, the pope said in a letter sent ahead of the first meeting of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
    Any "desire to avoid scandal" must be made a lower priority to child protection, he said in his letter to senior Church officials.
    "Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children," the pope wrote.
    "They should also know that they have every right to turn to the Church with full confidence, for it is a safe and secure home. "Consequently, priority must not be given to any other kind of concern, whatever its nature, such as the desire to avoid scandal, since there is absolutely no place in ministry for those who abuse minors," his letter said.
    Francis announced the commission in late 2013 and last March began to set it up.


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