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Call for all-out battle against abuse


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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis ended his conference on the sexual abuse of children by clergy yesterday by calling for an “all-out battle” against a crime that should be “erased from the face of the earth”.

But victims and their advocates expressed deep disappointment, saying Francis had merely repeated old promises and offered few new concrete proposals.

In his closing address to the almost 200 Church leaders he had summoned to Rome, Francis said national guidelines on preventing and punishing abuse would be strengthened and the Church’s definition of minors in cases of possession by clergy of pornography would be raised from the current age of 14. (Reuters)