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Pope warns of fallout from poorly trained priests

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January 3, 2014 10:17 AM EST | AP


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has warned that priests can become "little monsters" if they aren't trained properly while studying as seminarians.

Francis also warned against accepting men for the priesthood who may have been implicated in sexual abuse, saying the protection of the Catholic faithful is most important.

Francis made the comments during a closed-door meeting of 120 superiors of religious orders Nov. 29 at the Vatican. On Friday, the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica provided a report of the informal, question and answer session. The Vatican never provided a transcript of the meeting.

The magazine interviewed Francis last year.

Francis, the first Jesuit pope, is quoted as telling the superiors he wants them to "wake up the world" with their work, particularly with the poor.