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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: Recognizing abuse more important than the Church's reputation

Pope Francis urged bishops to acknowledge the Church's failures in preventing child abuses and to seek the forgiveness of survivors. 

The Pope spoke in a video message shared with Eastern and Central European bishops gathered in Poland for a conference on child protection organized by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. 

He said that concern for the Church's reputation should not displace caring for survivors of abuse. 

“Only by facing the truth of these cruel behaviors and humbly seeking the forgiveness of the victims and survivors,” says the Pope, “will the Church be able to find its way to once again be faithfully considered as a place of welcome and safety for those in need.” 

In 2018, Pope Francis stressed the need for transparency when dealing with cases of abuse before the leaders of the Curia

"Even if it were only a single case of abuse, which already represents a monstrosity, the Church asks not to be silent and to bring it objectively to light. Because the biggest scandal on this issue is hiding the truth."

About a dozen current and retired bishops in Poland have been sanctioned by the Vatican in recent months for failing to listen to survivors, and take sufficient action against perpetrators of abuse.