Pope says abuse scandal scars cannot be hidden

The bishops' evangelical mission "does not hide the wounds that scar the Church community because of the weakness and the sin of some of its members," the pope said.
Italy seemed to be spared by the series of sex abuse revelations rocking European and American churches in past months, but since last week cases have been coming under the national spotlight.

On Tuesday, a top bishop gave the first official figure on cases in Italy saying the Church had carried out about 100 canonical investigations of priests suspected of abuse in the country over the past 10 years.

The bishops' conference did not say how many priests were found guilty.
A 73-year-old priest in northern Italy was arrested on Monday over allegations that he sexually abused an alleged victim from the age of 13 to 16, while last week for the first time a bishop testified in a trial against a priest accused of abuse.

"This humble and hurtful acknowledgement should not make us forget the free and passionate service of so many believers, starting with priests," the pope said.
The Catholic Church has for months been embroiled in a series of sex abuse scandals amid allegations that the Vatican had shielded predator priests from prosecution in several European countries and the United States.

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