In a bold pronouncement to the Roman Curia, Pope Francis addressed the ongoing sex abuse scandal.
“To those who abuse minors, I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice,” the pope said in his annual Christmas address speech.
In his speech, the pope noted that he has called a Vatican summit of bishops from around the world to discuss the abuse crisis over four days in February. The bishops will consult with experts on “how best to protect children, to avoid these tragedies, to bring healing and restoration to victims, and to improve the training imparted in seminaries.”
This comes after Pope Francis purged his counsel of two bishops who were convicted of misconduct, one of which occurred under highly suspect conditions.
Pope Francis seems to have changed his tune since the McCarrick story broke earlier in 2018 when he urged a silent reaction.
Pope Francis said that some Catholics blamed journalists for “intentionally wanting to give the false impression” that sex abuse is a problem exclusive to the church. But, he said, he was grateful to “honest and objective” members of the press who had helped uncover the problem.