Pope Compares Child Abuse to 'Human Sacrifice,' Calls Guilty 'Tools of Satan'
Francis made the remarks during his speech in the Vatican City
Pope Francis has branded clergy who abuse children as the 'tools of Satan' and vowed they would face the 'the wrath of God' as he compared their actions to human sacrifice.
The Pontiff made the remarks just a day after one of the Catholic Church’s most notable Cardinals admitted child abuse files were 'destroyed.'
Francis made the remarks during his speech in the Vatican City which concluded his summit on preventing clergy sex abuse.
Although Francis vowed to put an end to child abuse cover-ups in the Catholic church, he accused critics of Catholic Church as "friends and relatives of the Devil" on Friday, causing outrage among victims of clerical abuse.
Francis concluded the mass by comparing child abuse to 'human sacrifice,' according to The Guardian.
He said: 'Our work has made us realize once again that the gravity of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors is, and historically has been, a widespread phenomenon in all cultures and societies.
'I am reminded of the cruel religious practice, once widespread in certain cultures, of sacrificing human beings – frequently children – in pagan rites.'
The pope concluded vowing that pedophile priest would face 'the wrath of God.'
Francis delivered his speech in front of 190 Catholic bishops and high ranking religious figures, who were summoned to Rome following escalating abuse scandals that sparked a credibility crisis in the church.
The Jesuit pope claimed a vast amount of abuse happens within the family.
He added that the abuse of children in the Catholic Church is more scandalous 'for it is utterly incompatible with her moral authority and ethical credibility.'
'We need to recognize with humility and courage that we stand face-to-face with the mystery of evil, which strikes most violently against the most vulnerable, for they are an image of Jesus,' he said.
'Brothers and sisters, today we find ourselves before a manifestation of brazen, aggressive and destructive evil,' the pope said.
The Pope offered an eight-point pledge of priorities for the future, vowing to change the church's defensive reasoning.
'In people's justified anger, the church sees the reflection of the wrath of God, betrayed and insulted by these deceitful consecrated persons,' he said.
According to ITV: Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge pledged to bring justice and healing to survivors of abuse.'
He said: 'We will listen to them, believe them, walk with them, we will ensure that those who have abused are never again able to offend, we will call to account those who have concealed abuse.'
Last week, disgraced D.C. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was expelled from the Roman Catholic priesthood after he was found guilty of sexually abusing children and adults.
The ruling, which was followed by an appeal by the man who was a power-broker as Archbishop of Washington, D.C., was decided 'final' by Pope Francis.
In a statement, the Vatican said McCarrick's crimes were made more stringent by "the aggravating factor of the abuse of power."