PHILADELPHIA — Pope Francis apologized to victims of clergy sexual abuse in a private meeting on Sunday, and called himself “overwhelmed by the shame,” pledging that “every one responsible will be held accountable.”
“I regret this profoundly,” he said, speaking to bishops and seminarians on the last day of his trip to the United States. “God weeps!”
The pope said survivors of abuse by priests “have become true heralds of hope and ministers of mercy. Humbly, we owe each of them and their families our gratitude for their immense courage for making the light of Christ shine over the evil” of child sex abuse by priests, according to an early translation.