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‘This is a moment of shame’: Pope Francis expresses sorrow at French abuse report…

“In renewed solidarity with victim-survivors who have courageously come forward, we join the Church of France in praying for forgiveness, healing, and protection,” the bishop said.

“This report underscores the need for us to repent and grow in our commitment to serve the people of God. The Holy Father, in his pastoral concern for the Universal Church has called us all to greater accountability and transparency in addressing the sins of abuse and the mishandling of abuse claims at every level.”

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, the president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, also issued a statement on Oct. 6, calling the report an “indictment of the failures of leadership in the Church.”

“This history of unchecked abuse extending over the course of generations challenges our comprehension of how innocent persons could have suffered so terribly and their voices been ignored for so long,” O’Malley said.

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Noting that the French bishops had commissioned the report, the cardinal said that the Church in France had taken the necessary first steps to deal with the scourge of sexual abuse.

He said that the comprehensive measures outlined by French bishops earlier this year should be incorporated at all levels of authority.

He added that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors was committed to “vigorous advocacy for the rights of survivors, and to abuse prevention education, transparency, accountability, and zero tolerance.”

“We cannot allow that one survivor goes unacknowledged or that one person would be in danger of abuse by a member of the Church,” O’Malley said.

“There remains a long road ahead of us in confronting abuse in our Church and in society at large. We will not tire in walking this journey,” he said.

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