US bishops echo Pope’s words on sex abuse, accountability

Catholic News Agency

By Michelle Bauman

Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 30, 2015 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Two committee heads of the U.S. bishops’ conference voiced support for Pope Francis’ statement rejecting the sexual abuse of minors and promising accountability for those guilty of crimes against children.

“I was so happy that our Holy Father was very clear with his message today,” said Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ committee on child and youth protection.

Speaking to CNA Sept. 27, he described the Holy Father’s words to an international gathering of bishops at the Philadelphia seminary earlier that day.

Pope Francis entered the room and set aside his prepared remarks, the bishop said. “He spoke to all the bishops heart-to-heart, and you could tell that he had a passion about him.”

“And in speaking within that passion, he was very clear and he was very strong in that anyone who participates in any of the crimes of sexual abuse will be held to accountability. And he also reached out to the victims with compassion, with tenderness and care. Because our very first response is to do all that we can to bring forth healing.”

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