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Pope Francis to sex abuse victims: Forgive us

First Published      Last Updated Jul 08 2014 12:43 pm
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"It was possible with six people; if we had 12 it would have been a different thing," Lombardi told a packed news conference. "It was a good choice."

The pope has signaled an approach of "zero tolerance" and introduced tougher Vatican laws against child abuse, even as he faced some criticism for being slow to address the abuse scandal in his nearly 18 months as pope.

The church came under fire earlier this year from two U.N. inquiries for its abuse record, and the pope flagged his first encounter with victims as he returned from his trip to the Holy Land in May.

Last month, the Vatican defrocked Archbishop Jozef Weselowski, former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, and he is likely to face a criminal trial for alleged child sexual abuse that took place in the Caribbean country.

The pope's abuse commission, led by O'Malley, met Sunday for the second time since Francis established the panel in March and is considering adding new members from Asia and Africa when it meets again in October.