According to AAP, on January 7 the Pope made his annual address to ambassadors to the Holy See where he spoke of the scourge of sexual abuse in society and his sadness that some members of the clergy were guilty of such abuse. “I cannot refrain from speaking of one of the plagues of our time, which sadly has also involved some members of the clergy," he said. “The abuse of minors is one of the vilest and most heinous crimes conceivable. Such abuse inexorably sweeps away the best of what human life holds out for innocent children, and causes irreparable and lifelong damage," he said. The Pope is now preparing to host a Vatican summit in February with Catholic bishops from around the world to discuss the child abuse crisis, reports AAP. “My meeting with the episcopates of the entire world next February is meant to be a further step in the Church's efforts to shed full light on the facts and to alleviate the wounds caused by such crimes," he said. In December 2018 Pope Francis vowed the church would never again treat abuse allegations without "seriousness and promptness," calling on abusers to hand themselves in to police.
Pope condemns sexual abuse as a vile and heinous crime
Pope Francis has declared paedophilia to be one of the “vilest” crimes as he renewed a pledge to rid the Catholic Church of paedophile priests.