April 11th, 2014
09:27 AM ET

Pope asks for forgiveness for 'evil' of sex abuse

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - Pope Francis made his strongest condemnation of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Friday, asking for forgiveness and pledging to impose penalties on "men of the church" who harm children.

“I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests, quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests, to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children," the Pope said in remarks quoted by Vatican Radio.

"The Church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed," Francis continued. "On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children."

The Pope's new comments, made to a Catholic NGO on Friday, represent a shift from his previous statements on sexual abuse.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. robertoeditor

    To neil adam and eveyone else who quoted the Bible in order to condemn the Pope and the Catholic Church: anybody can quote Scripture – even the Devil. Or have you not read how Satan tried to tempt Jesus, quoting from the Old Testament in his first two attempts? And he failed – he could not tempt Jesus.

    April 16, 2014 at 8:14 am |
  2. Akira


    April 13, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
  3. His Panic

    When they say Mass in the roman church; could it be Mass hysteria due to trusting in idols and men instead of Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son?? Just asking!!

    April 13, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      The answer is no. You need medication. Badly.

      April 13, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
    • Akira

      When they say Mass, they're saying Mass. No hysterics involve...there.

      April 13, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
  4. His Panic

    He is in a State of anxiety which can easily "evolve" into Mass hysteria and even Panic. Those who really Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son WILL NOT Panic.
    All others WILL Panic and get into anarchy, brawls, stampedes and riots.

    I even I could be, may be his Panic!

    April 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      You know there is medication to help with those attacks...it will also help with the delusions of grandeur you're seemingly suffering from...check yourself into the local asylum and ask to be put in the special huggy jacket and padded room.

      April 13, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
      • His Panic

        I'm not the issue here. If you need Medication is because you do not Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son. Now is it True or Not what I said? That is the real issue that clearly you are unable to address. Panic has been the cause of many stampedes, brawls and riots. Anarchy can also cause anxiety, fear and Mass hysteria. All of these aforementioned are the result of people like you and others who do not Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son. Those who Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son WILL NOT Panic, therefore WILL NOT get carried away in anarchy, brawls, stampedes and riots. You WILL Panic sooner or later, by that time it may be too late.

        April 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          God had many sons. Jebus was one of many. In Hebrew culture a "son of God" simply meant "righteous". It was a ti'tle given to many people. ... generals, politicians, preachers. Jebus (supposedly) said many times "and your Father' etc etc ... apparently he didn't think he was "God's ONLY son". See Dr. Ehrman's new book, "How Jesus Became a God". It's an entirely human construct.

          April 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
    • Akira

      " I even I could be, may be his Panic !"

      What does this sentence mean?

      April 13, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
  5. Bootyfunk

    the pope, all talk, no action.
    he has not changed church doctrine or dogma.
    he said, "we're really gonna get those priest molesters this time. we won't stand for it any longer."
    just like the last guy before him.
    but the church has done zero to make that a reality.
    the pope could start by releasing the names of all past offending priests so the victims could get some closure.
    but the pope is more interested in church PR than giving peace to molestation victims.
    the pope says a few flowery words - and does nothing.

    April 13, 2014 at 12:28 am |
    • gordonhide

      I agree. I don't think any paedophiles have been excommunicated yet. Apparently it's just not a serious enough offence.

      April 13, 2014 at 6:59 am |
    • His Panic

      You do not have peace? Well that is because you are or were part of that religion. Not being a peace is an unequivocal indication of something else below the surface. That state of mind can lead you to anxiety, hysteria even Panic. Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son and you WILL NOT Panic. Because Panic has lead many, many people to stampedes and riots.

      April 13, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
    • nstommymommy

      Unfortunately, this pope is a man of some action: Later this month, Pope Francis will canonize Pope John Paul II, who, while not a molester himself, led the Church's conspiracy of silence, evasion and cover up. John Paul did a lot of good but it will be overshadowed by the harm he allowed to happen to children. I am disappointed in both the Church and Francis.

      April 19, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
  6. Ally

    The pope should be in jail for aiding and abetting criminals.

    It's 2014 people. Really, put these fat criminal old men in dresses out of work. Stop supporting them with your hard-earned dollars and get with the times. It's 2014. Fuck their stupid Jesus stories and their exploitation of defenseless kids.

    April 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
  7. His Panic

    I even I could be may be his Panic!

    April 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
    • Helga Pataki

      You're illiterate, that's for sure.

      April 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
      • His Panic

        Who read and typed for you, the Pope?

        April 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Nope. The one trick Panic Popey done it. The Pope has a panic pony. The panic pony pokes and poops and panders to panicky poopy heads.

          April 13, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
  8. lean6

    I'm kind of afraid for this man's life. The holy gangsters are certain to plotting his downfall by now.

    April 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
  9. midwest rail

    When he begs forgiveness for the cover-up and orders full disclosure, then I'll be interested. Til then, not so much.

    April 12, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
  10. His Panic

    He is in a State of anxiety which can easily "evolve" into Mass hysteria and even Panic. I even I may be his Panic. Those who really Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son WILL NOT Panic.
    All others WILL Panic and get into anarchy, brawls, stampedes and riots.

    April 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg


      April 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • Tuscany Dream

      "I even I may be his Panic."

      Dafuq does this mean?

      April 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        "Dafuq"? What are you 12?

        April 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          12 would be a few years older than the drivel you spout.

          April 12, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • Helga Pataki

          Are you? Your posts seem to indicate that you are.

          April 12, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Fighting against atheist influence on the world is logical. It does not imply that I'm 12, but it's funny that you think that😃😄😄☺️😄☺️

          April 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • Helga Pataki

          It's readily apparent you're not fighting against your own stupidity, finisher. And if you are much older than 12, it's pathetic.

          April 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg


        The reason people think that you are 12 years old is because it would appear to be the case. No one has ever read a post from you with any adult knowledge or themes.

        April 12, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          That's the point. It's showing how stupid and illogical atheism is. Stupid troll.

          April 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          1. So the point is you are 12.
          2. According to you, I am stupid.

          My point is proven. Your mentality is such that you are quite unable to write a mature sentence or communicate with any kind of social grace.

          April 12, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • otoh2

          Concert in an Egg,

          Shhhhh! Don't tell him! He thinks he's doing a fine, stellar, effective job...!

          April 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • otoh2

          (re: thefinisher, that is... just in case it wasn't obvious)

          April 12, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • hotairace

          thefinisher, leading candidate to be the USA's next mass murderer.

          April 12, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          I think that's you atheists. Your obsession towards religion is unhealthy. Just look at Stalin or Mao. They were atheists and killed millions of people all for power and the typical atheistic wants.

          April 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • Helga Pataki

          Why don't you just say "nah nah nah nah nah" and stop your foot while you're at it, finisher? F'ckin troll.

          April 12, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
  11. Concert in an Egg

    The universe is flat like a piece of paper. Next to our universe is a second, perhaps a third, perhaps an infinite number of universes. It makes sense that if one universe is left handed, there is another that is right handed. I know what you are thinking…so Egg dude, what caused the Big Bang? Well I wish I knew, but using undiscovered evidence I have come to the conclusion that it was caused be the wind. Using string theory, we can surmise that two sheets of universe touching (matter and anti-matter in this example) would cause a big bang. I little cosmic breeze might bring the two branes together causing the event. Another possibility would be the shape of an alternate universe in the multiverse. If we are flat, but another universe is curved in on itself it might simple touch at a single point. It would look like a speck of pepper to us, but it could be the end of all things.

    April 12, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      " but using undiscovered evidence I have come to the conclusion..."

      Oh, and here I thought it was all about observable, quantifiable, objective truth.

      April 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        You are sharp as a tack.

        April 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          So they say.

          April 12, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
  12. iamyourgod2014

    Hi Pope, its god. Pope, i hope you are trolling on cnn and reading this. tell everyone at the vatican not to worry...there are soooooooooo many 9 year olds in heaven (wink wink)

    April 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
  13. Concert in an Egg

    It is rewarding to be a parent and have two kids who both realize the bible is nonsense. They have been taught however to show respect to ALL religions regardless of their personal beliefs. Everyone is entitled to believe what they wish. I have also explained they will discriminated against and will lose some friends over their views, as Christians often don’t share the atheist value system of live and let live.

    April 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
  14. Concert in an Egg

    So you are not thefinisher, you are.......thecontinuer01

    April 12, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Sorry, wrong place. I am "theidiot01"

      April 12, 2014 at 11:29 am |
    • thefinisher1

      Act like a grown up not a child.

      April 12, 2014 at 11:30 am |
      • Concert in an Egg

        No NO NO NO!

        April 12, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • thefinisher1

          I see the intelligence and logic is growing in today's atheism...wait....No No No No.

          April 12, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I am an atheist. My wife is catholic, or at least she was when I married her and we started a family. She is not a practicing catholic anymore and I really couldn’t tell you if she believes in god. I think she does….My mother went through the Christian to deist transition. Two success stories.

          April 12, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Look at me, feeding this cute little troll.

          April 12, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • thefinisher1

          So all you want to do is convert people to join your cult? Aww! Look I'm feeding the cute troll!

          April 12, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I do not follow you. As far as I know, my mother and my wife are both believers.

          April 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          And you wish to convert them to join your death cult. Stop trolling. You suck at it.

          April 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          You lost me again. Having a conversation is trolling?

          April 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          And no I don't wish to convert them to anything. Why would you put words in my mouth?

          April 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • Tuscany Dream

          Finisher! I'm glad you're here! I want to join your faith! What is it again?

          April 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
  15. thefinisher1

    Don't atheist parents teach their children their atheism and bias against religion? What's the difference? Create a law saying atheists can't teach their children about atheism as it's a form of child abuse. Amen.

    April 12, 2014 at 11:06 am |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Good morning thefinisher1. When will you be finished?

      April 12, 2014 at 11:19 am |
      • thefinisher1

        The fight against atheism's toxic and dangerous grasp on the world will never end.

        April 12, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Tuscany Dream

          Oh I agree! What's your faith again, so we can be avengers against atheism together?

          April 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
    • iamyourgod2014

      Hi thefinisher1. it's god. how are you? i am well thank you. i hope you are attending church everyday!! (said in a warning voice)..hehehe did you know that most people are going to h-e-double-hockey-sticks including you. i can see da future
      cuz i made it)
      7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
      7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

      Jesus!! jesus come here and talk to the finisher1, bring lucifer too. hang on a second they will come on da net to talk to you. BRB

      April 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • Tuscany Dream

      Finisher, I want to join your faith! I do t want to be a bad parent! What 's your faith so I can become a GOOOOOOD parent and learn to use logic and reasoning just like you?

      April 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      "Create a law saying atheists can't teach their children about atheism as it's a form of child abuse. Amen."

      Not certain if this is hyperbole, but there is no law against teaching children Creationism, or any other psuedo-science, they just can't be taught them by the government. Honestly, I would think that believers especially would appreciate that.

      April 13, 2014 at 10:22 am |
    • mk

      Everytime my kids say, "Mom, can I believe in a god, pleeeeaaasse?" I say, "No, stop talking nonsense! There is no Santa and there is no god and no morals. Now leave me alone, you ingrates."

      April 14, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.