VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is promising to respond with the “firmest measures possible” against priests who rape and molest children and says he’ll hold accountable bishops and religious superiors who cover up for them.
Francis met Thursday for the first time with his sex abuse advisory commission, which was created in 2014 to advise him and the Catholic Church on best practices to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood and protect children.
The commission has held educational workshops in dioceses around the world, but has faced such stiff resistance to some of its proposals at the Vatican that its most prominent member, abuse survivor Marie Collins, resigned in frustration in March.
The commission’s statutes and membership are up for review, and it remains to be seen if victims will be included.
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