“I humbly ask for forgiveness,” pontiff tells victims of clergy sex abuse

The Pontiff is begging victims and their families to forgive him and the Catholic church for this “horrible sin”.

Pope Francis asks for forgiveness from victims of clergy sex abuse

In the preface for I Forgive You, Father, a book written by Daniel Pittet, a survivor of clergy abuse, the Pontiff confront the effects of this "absolute monstrosity", while begging for the forgiveness of victims and their families, Huffington Post reports.

He wrote, "How can someone who devoted their life to lead children to God, end up instead to devour them in what I called ‘a diabolical sacrifice’ that destroys both the victim and the life of the Church?

Some of the victims have been driven to suicide. These deaths weigh on my heart, on my conscience and that of the whole Church. To their families, I offer my feelings of love and pain and humbly, I ask forgiveness.”

According to a translation by Italian news website, La Stampa, Pope Francis also commended the author for sharing his story and meeting the priest responsible for this “a diabolical sacrifice”.

"For those who have been victims of a pedophile it is difficult to talk about what they have been through and describe the trauma that still persist after many years. For this reason, Daniel Pittet’s testimony is necessary, treasured and courageous.

He chose to meet his tormentor forty-four years later, to look into the eyes of the man who has hurt him in the depths of his soul. He lended him his hand. The wounded child is now a standing man, fragile but standing. I’m very impressed by his words: “Many people fail to understand the fact that I do not hate him. I have forgiven him and I built my life on that forgiveness.”

I thank Daniel, because testimony like his break down the wall of silence that covered scandals and suffering, shedding light on a terrible dark area in the life of the Church. They open the way to a just mending and to the grace of reconciliation, helping pedophiles to become aware of the terrible consequences of their actions," he said.

This is not the first time the Pope has revealed his disgust for this issue, that has rocked the Catholic church for many years.

Not only has he revealed his thoughts, he has also made several attempts to rid the church of it.

During his papacy, the Pontiff has met with victims, and created a sex abuse panel to improve child protection.

The Vatican has also arrested and defrocked a Vatican ambassador accused of the abuse.

However, there are still critics that say he has not done enough.

Do you think the Catholic church could ever get rid of clerical sex abuse?

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