Pedophile priest victims urge action from Pope

Victims of sexually abusive priests from across the Americas joined forces Monday to urge Pope Francis to allow civilian justice to punish pedophiles and those who covered up their crimes.

AFP| Last Updated: Feb 17, 2015, 11:02 AM IST

Mexico City: Victims of sexually abusive priests from across the Americas joined forces Monday to urge Pope Francis to allow civilian justice to punish pedophiles and those who covered up their crimes.

From the United States to Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other nations, victims issued a letter made public in Mexico City telling the Argentine pontiff that "words are not enough."

The letter said that only civilian trials and Church reform will put an end to the "great holocaust of thousands of boys and girls who were sacrificed to avoid scandal and salvage the image and prestige of the Catholic Church`s representatives in the world."

The victims said the pope`s recent admonishments of sex abuse in the Church are "ambiguous and contradictory" because they do not lead to any "institutional process toward truth and justice."

Pope Francis has called for "zero tolerance" against abusive priests since his election in March 2013. 

He has asked victims for forgiveness, pledged to combat pedophilia and formed a Church child protection panel.

This month, he issued a strongly-worded letter to bishops warning Roman Catholic clergy they must never try to cover up sexual abuse.