While acknowledging shortcomings, Pope Francis stated Sunday that the Catholic Church was doing “the best we can” to combat clerical child abuse.
The pontiff described child abuse within the Church as a “tragic phenomenon” in a press conference while returning from Bahrain, where he had been encouraging peace with Islam.
On the aircraft back to Rome, the 85-year-old Argentine said, “We are doing all we can, but some inside the Church don’t see it correctly.
He continued, “It is a process that we are going through with bravery.
In the latter part of the 1980s, the abuse crisis broke out, igniting a global wave of charges against pedophilic priests in countries including Australia, Chile, France, and the United States.
Pope Francis has vowed that the Church will take a “zero tolerance” stance on abuse, but detractors claim that many nations have not yet taken the matter seriously.
The pope reiterated on Sunday that while “certain things were hidden” in the past, “all is obvious, and we are moving ahead” now.
“The Church must thank God for a good while being embarrassed about the wrong.”
Pope Francis spoke with senior Muslim leaders and Catholic Gulf citizens during his four-day trip to Bahrain, which has a mainly Muslim population.