Pope Francis begged for forgiveness in an unprecedented letter Monday and said Catholic leaders were to blame following a grand jury report last weekthat found more than 1,000 children were sexually abused by "predator priests" in Pennsylvania for decades.
"With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives," Francis wrote.
"We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them," he added.
The pope's 2,000-word letter addressed to the "People of God" came nearly a week after the damaging report was released detailing allegations of rampant sexual abuse in parishes across Pennsylvania.
Abuse complaints were kept in the church's so-called secret archive and church officials hid incidents, neglected to discipline priests or report them to law enforcement, according to the 1,356-page report.
"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all," the report said.
The Vatican said in a statement two days after the report's release that the abuses described "are criminal and morally reprehensible" and "those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith."
The report was the result of a two-year investigation — the largest into sex abuse allegations within the U.S. Catholic Church — and had remained under seal during pending court challenges from clergy. The abuse dates to the 1940s and includes allegations against more than 300 priests, some of whom have since died.
You see the pope covering their abuse of children with apologies but is it true repentance? The Bible and spirit of prophecy said Vatican doesn't change. Had it not been the investigation that has laid open the sins of Babylon(Vatican) there wouldn't be a public apologies from Vatican. Sadly this is only to appease and deceive the public but the Vatican doesn't change. The Bible reads: "Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."
The Papacy is coming to power very soon. Get ready.
The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observancesof the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism,the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors andsins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven. As the people go to their former teachers with theeager inquiry, Are these things so? the ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears and quiet theawakened conscience. But since many refuse to be satisfied withthe mere authority of men and demand a plain “Thus saiththe Lord,” the popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denouncethe message as of Satan and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it. GC 606.2
And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured. GC 581.1
God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is.Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution. GC 581.2