In letter to world’s Catholics, Pope Francis addresses church sex abuse

<p>Pope Francis has released a letter to Catholics around the world following a bombshell report on the sexual abuse of children by priests in Pennsylvania.</p>

News 12 Staff

Aug 20, 2018, 9:25 PM

Updated 2,107 days ago

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Pope Francis has released a letter to Catholics around the world following a bombshell report on the sexual abuse of children by priests in Pennsylvania.
The grand jury report also contains allegations that the new head of the Diocese of Rockville Centre played a role in covering up some of the crimes.
"Maybe he should step down," Lynbrook's Diane Macchio says of Bishop John Barres, who previously served in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The diocese says Bishop Barres denies the allegations that he mishandled allegations against priests in Allentown.
In the letter, the pope admitted that the Roman Catholic Church has failed to address the abuse.
"We showed no care for the little ones," Francis wrote. "We abandoned them."
Kathleen Mayerhofen is a Catholic from Rockville Centre.
"I've been a devout Catholic my entire life," she says. "It makes me very sad."
Annie Oftring, also from Rockville Centre, agrees.
"It's sad that this is still happening, but hopefully changes will be made," she says. "It's been going on for a while, and it's a shame religious figures knew about this and no one came out sooner."  
And Claire Logler says she hopes those changes are significant and impactful.
"I think an awful lot of thought would have to be put into exactly what his next step should be," she says.
For his part, the pope says he will change the church's culture to prevent future abuse and cover-ups. 
In his letter, he does not include details on how he might accomplish that.
Dave Tenenzaph has an idea.
"It should have been addressed in each church, in each situation," he says. "It has to be from the ground up."


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