Religion

Pope Orders Bishops to Cooperate with Sex Abuse Commission

Pope Francis walks past the honor guard as he arrives at the Esenboga airport in Ankara, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Pope Francis arrived in Turkey on Friday at a sensitive moment for the Muslim nation, as it cares for 1.6 million refugees and weighs how to deal with the Islamic State group as its fighters grab chunks of Syria and Iraq across Turkey's southern border. (AP Photo/str)
Pope Francis walks past the honor guard as he arrives at the Esenboga airport in Ankara, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/str)

 

(Reuters) – Pope Francis on Thursday ordered Roman Catholic bishops around the world to cooperate as a matter of priority with a commission he set up to protect children from sexual abuse by clerics, even if it unearths new scandals.

The pope, who met victims of abuse last year, sent the letter to the bishops and heads of religious institutions a day before the commission was due to hold its first full meeting.

“Everything possible must be done to rid the Church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused,” the pope says in the letter.

“Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children … priority must not be given to any other kind of concern, whatever its nature, such as the desire to avoid scandal, since there is absolutely no place in ministry for those who abuse minors.”

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