Pope expresses shame to the victims of pedophile priests

(AGI) Philadelphia, Sept 27 - Pope Francis met with a smallgroup of people who suffered sexual abuse by pedophile priestsat Philadelphia's Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary on Sundaymorning. The announcement of the meeting was made by thePontiff himself before addressing the bishops at the WorldMeeting of Families. The abuse victims that the Pope met withwere three men and two women. They were accompanied by theArchbishop of Philadelphia, Monsignor Charles J.Chaput. "I amprofoundly sorry. God weeps," the Pope told the five victims ofpedophile priests. He thanked the survivors for their couragein "shining

(AGI) Philadelphia, Sept 27 - Pope Francis met with a smallgroup of people who suffered sexual abuse by pedophile priestsat Philadelphia's Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary on Sundaymorning. The announcement of the meeting was made by thePontiff himself before addressing the bishops at the WorldMeeting of Families. The abuse victims that the Pope met withwere three men and two women. They were accompanied by theArchbishop of Philadelphia, Monsignor Charles J.Chaput. "I amprofoundly sorry. God weeps," the Pope told the five victims ofpedophile priests. He thanked the survivors for their couragein "shining the light of Christ" on the "evil" of the sexualabuse of children and expressed his gratitude to theirfamilies, who supported them while the Church often distancedthem. "I heard a deep lament from the sexually abused. Thesecrimes cannot be kept a secret for so long," the Pope said andpromised on behalf of the Church "the accountability of all,"referring to the bishops' untimely response to the abuses.Father Federico Lombardi, the head of the Holy See pressoffice, said in a statement: "Every one of the victims wasaccompanied by a family member or friend. The group wasaccompanied by Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, the Archbishopof Boston and president of the commission for the protection ofminors established by the Pope, by the Archbishop ofPhiladelphia, Monsignor Charles Chaput, and by BishopFitzgerald, the head of the Philadelphia diocese's office forthe protection of minors. The Pope listened to their stories,addressed them a few words and then greeted them one by one."Father Lombardi added: "Pope Francis prayed with them. Heexpressed his 'participation in their suffering' as well as hispain and sense of shame for those who had been abused bymembers of the clergy. Pope Francis renewed his personalcommitment, and that of the whole Church, to ensure thatsurvivors are listened to and treated with justice, that thoseresponsible are punished, and that such crimes are effectivelycombatted and prevented in the Church and in society." He wenton: "He also thanked the survivors for their 'essentialcontribution' in establishing the truth and embarking on a'path of healing'. The meeting lasted approximately half anhour and ended with a blessing by the Holy Father." . .