RELIGION
01/16/2014 06:05 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Pope Francis Denounces Sexual Abuse, 'The Shame Of The Church'

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 15:  Pope Francis attends his weekly audience in St. Peter's square on January 15, 2014 in Va
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 15: Pope Francis attends his weekly audience in St. Peter's square on January 15, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. During the weekly audience Pope Francis spoke to the crowd telling them that 'through baptism we are reborn to a new life of grace and we are called to be witnesses of the Gospel before the world.' (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

The Catholic Church was slammed at the U.N. on Thursday about how they have historically handled cases of sex abuse by priests, as a committee investigated their adherence to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires all signatories "to take all appropriate measures to keep children from harm."

Pope Francis has addressed the sexual abuse issue as part of his Vatican reforms with the creation of a commission on abuse, and on Thursday morning he also denounced the problem in a blistering homily that spoke of the scandal and shame of the church.

But are we ashamed? So many scandals that I do not want to mention individually, but all of us know...We know where they are! Scandals, some who charged a lot of money.... The shame of the Church!

But are we all ashamed of those scandals, of those failings of priests, bishops, laity? Where was the Word of God in those scandals; where was the Word of God in those men and in those women? They did not have a relationship with God! They had a position in the Church, a position of power, even of comfort. But the Word of God, no! 'But, I wear a medal,' ‘I carry the Cross ' ... Yes, just as those bore the Ark!

Without the living relationship with God and the Word of God! I am reminded of the words of Jesus about those for whom scandals come ... And here the scandal hit: bringing decay (it: decadenza) to the people of God, including (it: fino alla) the weakness and corruption of the priests.

The Vatican is currently facing criticism for rejecting an extradition request from Poland regarding the ex-papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski. Wesolowski, the highest-ranking Vatican official to be investigated for alleged sex abuse to date, is currently thought to be living in the Vatican.

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