Pope Francis to hold first meeting with sexually abused victims


Pope Francis is to meet the victims of sexual abuse by priests for the first time since his election last year.

He is expected to meet the six victims - two each from Ireland, Britain and Germany - after they have attended a private morning Mass in the Vatican.

The Pope has vowed to punish clergy who have abused children, describing their actions as "satanic".

The Church has been heavily criticised for failing to tackle abuse, following a series of scandals worldwide.

Some victims have also criticised Pope Francis for having failed to meet their representatives sooner.

The Pope's predecessor, Pope Benedict, met abuse victims several times on trips outside Italy.

Pope Francis last year strengthened the Vatican's laws against child abuse.

He has also set up a committee, whose members include a cardinal and an abuse victim, to draw up plans to tackle exploitation by priests.

Courtesy : BBC