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Pope Francis vows justice after report on child abuse mentions former Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Francis vows justice after report on child abuse mentions former Pope

Pope Francis has promised justice following the publication of a report according to which former Pope Benedict XVI had not acted in four cases of child sexual abuse in the diocese of Munich when he was archbishop in the 1970s and 1980s.
Francis met today with members of the Vatican office that handles cases of sexual abuse.

Although the Pope did not refer to the report he said the Church will continue to address the abuse scandal.

"The Church, with the help of God, is carrying out its duty with unwavering determination to bring justice to the victims of abuse by its members, implementing with special care and rigor the canonical legislation provided," Francescu said at the meeting.

Francesco noted that the Vatican had recently updated its policies to tackle abuse cases more effectively.

"This may not be enough to curb the phenomenon, but it is a necessary step to restore justice, to 'repair' the scandal and to punish the offender," he said.

The report in Germany found that Benedict XVI, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had not properly handled four cases of abusive clergy during his tenure as archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982.

One of the report's authors said the cardinal's negligence constituted misconduct.

Benedict, who spoke to the report's authors, said he was upset and ashamed of the scandal, according to his longtime secretary.

A spokesman for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the Munich lawyers' report "clearly and shockingly shows once again the extent of abuse and breach of duty by church figures" .

"The government is calling for a full and transparent investigation by the church," he told a news conference Friday.