Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi arrives for a press conference at the Vatican, Monday, July 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
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Pope Francis told victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic clerics that the church should "weep and make reparation" for crimes he said had taken on the dimensions of a sacrilegious cult.He said he would not tolerate abuse, which has been exposed in recent years in many European, American and Asian dioceses, and that Bishops would be held accountable if they shielded them.One prominent critic of the church's long failure to act on the cases, and of the pope's failure to meet victims earlier in his pontificate, said he must quickly follow up with clear action to prove the Mass was not just a ceremonial event.Francis delivered his homily to six victims of abuse, two each from Ireland, Britain and Germany, before meeting all individually at an almost four-hour long gathering, spending about 30 minutes with each one.Sexual abuse scandals have haunted the Catholic Church for over two decades but became a major issue in the United States about 10 years ago.
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