September 25, 2018
By Susan Miller
The flames of fury over priest sex abuse scandals are eroding the faith of Catholics and chasing many from pews, Pope Francis admitted Tuesday – and the church needs “to change.”
The pope’s frank comments, delivered before young people in Estonia on the final day of his pilgrimage to the Baltics, coincided with a stinging report of abuse of children by Catholic clergy in Germany.
Francis told the youths the church must take action to restore the faith of future generations and be transparent and honest.
“They are outraged by sexual and economic scandals that do not meet with clear condemnation, by our unpreparedness to really appreciate the lives and sensibilities of the young, and simply by the passive role we assign them,” he said at the Kaarli Lutheran Church in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.
“We ourselves need to be converted,” he said. “We have to realize that, in order to stand by your side, we need to change many situations that, in the end, put you off.”
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