Pope Francis views child sexual abuse as a kind of “psychological murder”. According to him, the acts are committed in schools, sports and recreation facilities, and religious communities and individuals. Those crimes must be consistently brought to light, the Catholic Church leader said in the Vatican on Saturday.
“Child abuse is a kind of ‘psychological murder’ and in many cases a cancellation of childhood,” Francis warned.
The Pope made his comments during a meeting with members of the Italian anti-abuse association called Meter.
Protecting children from sexual exploitation is a duty of all states, he said. They must prosecute and punish human traffickers and abusers, the spiritual leader said.
The 84-year-old Pope criticized the promotion of child p0rnography over the internet and various social media.
The Catholic Church itself has also been repeatedly criticized for covering up child abuse cases within its own ranks. The institute is facing repeated allegations that those in the high office within the Church are failing to deal with or cover up the charges quickly enough.