Pope Francis told a group of Italian seminarians to report immediately to their bishop if they ever see or suspect any kind abuse, sexual or otherwise, on the part of a priest.
“On this point, speak clearly,” the pope told the students from Lombardy over the weekend.
“If you see something like [abuse], [go] immediately to the bishop. To help that abusive brother. Immediately to the bishop.”
The pope met the group in the Vatican’s St. Clementine hall Oct. 13. The text of the lengthy question and answer session was released by the Vatican Oct. 16. During the meeting, he answered a question about scandals in the Church and how to help Catholics to not lose hope despite the “poverty of its ministers.”“Scandal wounds. We must be clear: on this point do not yield. To scandals, no. Especially when the scandals hurt little ones,” he said, emphasizing that though statistics show abuse by priests or other clerics to be a small percentage of total cases in society, it is not a reason to ignore the issue.
“No. Because even if it was just one priest, this is a monstrosity,” he underlined.
Pope Francis also spoke about other “scandals” brought about by the public sins of priests, condemning worldliness in particular, and giving the example of a priest who is polite and well-liked, but never seen praying, going to the hospital to visit the sick, or performing works of mercy.
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