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The 'last encyclicals'
of two saintly popes

The Passion of Jesus is a moral drama,
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Pope Francis'
reflections: Tough sanctions for clerical abuse

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placeholder April 21, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 8   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
Pope Francis' reflections:

Tough sanctions
for clerical abuse

"I feel called to take responsibility for all the evil some priests — large in number, but not in proportion to the total — have committed and to ask forgiveness for the damage they've done with the sexual abuse of children. … The church is aware of this damage" and is committed to strengthening child protection programs and punishing offenders. … "We don't want to take a step backward in dealing with this problem and with the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, I believe we must be very strong. You don't play with children's lives!"

Pope Francis to members of the International Catholic Child Bureau, a French children's rights group, during a meeting April 11 at the Vatican.

Paul Haring/cns

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