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Pope begs for forgiveness from clergy abuse victims

VATICAN CITY--Pope Francis begged forgiveness Monday from the victims of clergy sex abuse as he held his first meeting with several abuse survivors — but another victim called the gathering nothing more than “a PR event.”

The Vatican quoted Francis as expressing personal “sorrow” in his homily at a private Mass with six victims for the “sins and grave crimes” of clerical sex abuse against them.

Francis pledged “not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not,” and promised that bishops “will be held accountable.”

“I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves,” the Pope said.

“This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk,” the Pope said.

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