On Monday, May 26, Pope Francis ended his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He held a press conference on the flight from Tel Aviv to Rome. During the press conference Pope Francis answered questions concerning the sexual abuse of children by clergy. According to Zenit News Agency, Pope Francis said that when a priest commits abuse, he "betrays the Lord’s body."
Pope Francis focused on three points:
- That no preferential treatment will be given to anyone being investigated
- He will soon say Mass for the abuse victims at the Vatican
- A priest defies the trust of his victim and betrays the Lord's body, an action which can be compared to a black mass, which is considered sacrilege.
Pope Francis also revealed that three bishops are currently under investigation. He said that one has already been convicted and the decision regarding punishment needs to be decided.
Pope Francis added, "There will be no preferential treatment when it comes to child abuse." He said those who receive preferential treatment are considered 'spoilt children' and that there will be no 'spoilt children' in this case. A zero tolerance approach needs to be adopted with regard to this issue, the pope said.
Pope Francis explained that when a priest commits abuse, he 'betrays the Lord's body'. "A priest must guide children towards sainthood and the child trusts him," Pope Francis said. "But instead, when he abuses him or her, this is very serious. It's like celebrating a black mass! Instead of steering him or her towards the sainthood you create a problem that will stay with him or her for all of his or her life."
A black mass is also know as a satanic mass. During a black mass Satan is worshiped. This is considered sacrilege which is a very serious sin.
Allegations of church-based sex abuse are increasing not only in the U.S. A. but across Europe, including in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Ireland. New abuse allegations have surfaced in Brazil, home of the world's largest Catholic population. It is considered a global problem which needs to be addressed.