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Activists criticize pope for handling clerical sexual abuse cases

Pope Francis has not done enough to end clerical sexual abuse and its cover-up, activists and abuse survivors said Thursday, protesting ahead of a World Children's Day festival organized by the Vatican.

The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by sexual abuse scandals across the world. Francis has tried to impose standards, but his critics say more should have been done to root out abusive clergy and help its many victims.

“We want to protect young people who are participating” in the festival, said Matthias Katsch, co-founder of Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA), at a news conference at the ancient Roman fortress Castel Sant'Angelo, overlooking St. Peter's Basilica.

He noted that activists against abuse in the Church visited Rome in September to demand “zero tolerance” ahead of a major Vatican summit on the future of the Church, “but nothing has happened since.”

Specifically, Katsch accused Francis of failing to punish cardinals and bishops “who covered up sexual crimes.”

In an interview shown this month on the “60 Minutes” program on the North American network CBS, Francisco reiterated his commitment to fighting abusers and their protectors.

“This cannot be tolerated. When there is a case of a religious man or woman who abuses, the full force of the law falls on them. In this aspect, there has been great progress,” said the pontiff.

Source: CNN Brasil

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