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21st Feb 2019

Pope Francis asks church to ‘listen to the cry of the little ones seeking justice’

Jade Hayden

Pope Francis has asked Catholic church officials to “listen to the cry of the little ones seeking justice.”

He told a conference of bishops and religious leaders today that they must take “concrete” action against sex abuses within the church.

The pontiff is meeting with Catholic leaders for the next four days to discuss the sexual abuses of children and nuns that have long been ignored by the church.

The conference aims to find a “cure” for the institution’s failures and provide solutions for the issue rather than simply condemn the perpetrators.

“Faced with the scourge of sexual abuse committed by men of the church against minors, I wanted to reach out to you,” Pope Francis said today in his opening statement.

“The holy people of God look at us and await from us not simple and obvious condemnations, but concrete and effective measures to put into place. Concreteness is required.

“I ask the Holy Spirit to support us in these days and to help us to transform this evil into an opportunity for awareness and purification. May the Virgin Mary enlighten us to try to cure the serious wounds that the scandal of paedophilia has caused both in children and in believers.”

He also urged the bishops and Catholic leaders to “listen to the cry of the little ones who are seeking justice.”

Anne Barrett-Doyle of told Reuters that she was pleasantly surprised by the Pope’s statement.

“They said this was going to just a teaching session but he is now talking about concrete measures. That’s good but let’s see how it ends up.”

The conference will end on Sunday.