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Pope Francis warns:

Prepare for divine justice


Pope Francis has vowed the Catholic church will “never again” cover up clerical sexual abuse and demanded that priests who raped and abused children turn themselves in, according to The Guardian.

The pontiff dedicated his Christmas speech to the Vatican bureaucracy to the theme of abuse, after a year of revelations of sexual misconduct and cover-ups that rocked his papacy and caused a crisis of confidence in the Catholic hierarchy. He acknowledged the church had not always treated the issue seriously, blaming leaders who out of inexperience or shortsightedness acted “irresponsibly” by refusing to believe victims.

But he said the church would never again conceal or dismiss such cases. “Let it be clear that before these abominations, the church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes,” he said.

The pope urged victims to come forward, thanked the media for giving them a voice and issued a stark warning to abusers: “Convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice.”