Vatican City — Pope Francis vowed on Sunday to tackle every single case of sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church, comparing paedophilia to “human sacrifice” in a speech that left victims cold. His public address to top bishops at the end of a landmark summit in the Vatican promised an “all-out battle” against abusive priests, but blamed the devil and insisted the church is not the only place children are assaulted. “If in the Church there should emerge even a single case of abuse — which already in itself represents an atrocity — that case will be faced with the utmost seriousness,” Francis promised. “I am reminded of the cruel religious practice, once widespread in certain cultures, of sacrificing human beings — frequently children — in pagan rites,” he said. The sexual abuse of minors is “a widespread phenomenon in all cultures and societies”, Francis said, and he slammed those priests who prey on children as “tools of Satan”. ‘Abominable crimes’ “I make a heartfelt appea...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now