Six victims of sexual abuse committed by priests attended a Mass with Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta. The special liturgy called for peace and justice.
The Vatican withheld the victim's identities, as well any images of them. But they released the Pope's request for forgiveness.
"Before God and his people I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you. And I humbly ask forgiveness. I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves. This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk”.
"There is no place in the Church’s ministry for those who commit these abuses, and I commit myself not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not.”
"We need to do everything in our power to ensure that these sins have no place in the Church.”
The Pope thanked them for attending, and also reaffirmed his commitment "not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not.”
Once Mass ended, he met with each victim individually for about 30 minutes.