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Pope Francis condemns sexual abuse: 'All responsible will pay'

"God cries."

By Andrew V. Pestano
Pope Francis condemns sexual abuse: 'All responsible will pay'
Pope Francis condemned sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic Church officials on Sunday, his final day during his first U.S. visit. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Pope Francis on Sunday spoke strongly against sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic Church officials, stating that "all responsible will pay."

Speaking at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Francis spoke to bishops, guests of the Philadelphia's World Meeting of Families, soon after meeting with sexual abuse victims.

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"I have recorded in my heart the stories, the suffering and the pain of the minors who were abused sexually by priests," Francis said. "The shame continues to overwhelm me that people who had in their charge the tender care of those little ones, would harm them and cause them great damage."

"I regret it profoundly. God cries," Francis said. "The crimes and sins of sexual abuse on minors cannot be maintained in secret for any longer."

"I agree to with the church's... vigilance to protect minors, and I promise that all responsible will pay," the pope added.

Francis will head back to Rome after visiting the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility to meet with 95 select inmates, their families and prison staff and following the final mass on U.S. soil at 4 p.m. on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where crowds of up to a million are estimated.

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