Pontiff expresses shame over Chile sexual abuse scandal in letter to faithful, thanking victims for ‘valiant perseverance’

Pope Francis has become the first pope to publicly denounce a “culture of abuse and cover-up” in the Catholic church, saying he was ashamed that neither he nor church leaders in Chile truly ever listened to victims of the country’s sexual abuse scandal.

Francis made the comments in a pastoral letter to the Chilean faithful on the eve of another weekend he will spend listening to victims of Chile’s most notorious predator priest. The letter was issued on the same day the Vatican announced its top abuse investigators were returning to Chile on a pastoral mission.

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