The Slovenia Times

Pope apologises to Slovenian victims of clergy abuse

The Vatican
Pope Francis during a general audience.

Pope Francis has received a group of victims who had been sexually abused by Slovenian priests and offered his sincere apologies, telling the abuse survivors to continue their fight and expose "bad shepherds".

Organised by the Catholic advocacy group for the victims (It's Enough), which has for years been pushing the Church to take more decisive action against abusers, the meeting took place on 26 April in front of the entrance to St. Peter's Basilica after the pope's general audience, Delo newspaper has reported.

Pope Francis was brought over to the 10-member group consisting of survivors, their families and friends, and got up from his wheelchair, saying "I will stand for you," the paper says.

During the meeting, the pope offered hugs and warm words, telling the survivors to be courageous and continue their fight against what he said calls was an illness in the Church.

The meeting came in the aftermath of accusations against acclaimed Slovenian artist and priest Marko Ivan Rupnik, which have rocked the top echelons of the church. After allegations by Slovenia-based nuns against Rupnik first surfaced in the media last December, Pope Francis said he was shocked and hurt.


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