Vatican grilled over sex abuse scandal

Associated Press
Pope Francis delivers his speech in the St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. Pope Francis has given a sort of code of conduct to new cardinals, the select group of churchmen who advise him, help shape policy and elect new pontiffs. The pontiff on Sunday told the 19 men he elevated to cardinals' rank a day earlier to avoid behaving like they were in a royal court. Francis' commandments for the cardinals? "No intrigue, gossip, power pacts, favoritism or preferentialism." (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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Pope Francis made his first public plea for forgiveness on Friday for the "evil" committed by priests who molested children, using some of his strongest words yet on the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis.

The Argentine-born pontiff said the Church, which last month named a high-level group on the scandal including an abuse victim, had to take an even stronger stand than before against the scandal that has haunted it for over two decades. (Reuters)

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