"Church must treat sexual assault cases with zero tolerance" - Pope Francis

“Church must treat sexual assault cases with zero tolerance” – Pope Francis

In an interview with TVI/CNN Portugal, Pope Francis reiterated that the Catholic Church must treat cases of sexual assault with “zero tolerance”, calling such acts a “monstrosity”.

“It’s very clear. It’s zero tolerance. A priest cannot continue to be a priest if he is an aggressor. He cannot because he is either sick or a criminal,” Pope Francis said.

“It’s monstrous, because it destroys lives,” he added in this two-part interview which will air on Sunday and Monday evening.

An independent commission, whose work began at the beginning of the year, is responsible for investigating sexual assault within the Church in Portugal, a country with a strong Catholic tradition.

This commission, created by the Catholic Church, “has already collected some 400 testimonies, of which 17 have been communicated to justice,” recently indicated Pedro Stretch, the child psychiatrist who heads this working group whose conclusions must be presented at the end of the year.

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