Pope meets sex abuse survivors in UK

Pope meets sex abuse survivors in UK

The Pope met today with five survivors of clerical sex abuse, the Catholic Church confirmed.

The meeting lasted between 30 and 40 minutes and took place in an undisclosed location in the Westminster area of central London, a spokeswoman for the Church said.

Bill Kilgallon, chairman of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission, (NCSC) told the BBC: "They were understandably quite emotional at the prospect of meeting the Pope, but looking forward to the opportunity to tell him about their experiences."

Three of the victims were from the Yorkshire area, one from London and one from Scotland, the Church said.

The meeting came after the Pope this morning apologised for the "unspeakable crimes" committed by Catholic priests who sexually abused children.

In the most strongly-worded public apology of his state visit so far, the Pontiff spoke of the "shame and humiliation" brought by the scandal.

He told the congregation at London's Westminster Cathedral: "I think of the immense suffering caused by the abuse of children, especially within the Church and by her ministers.

"Above all, I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes, along with my hope that the power of Christ's grace, his sacrifice of reconciliation, will bring deep healing and peace to their lives.

"I also acknowledge with you the shame and humiliation which all of us have suffered because of these sins."

The apology comes after he acknowledged this week that the Catholic Church had failed to deal with abusive priests decisively or quickly enough.

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