A Swiss Guard salutes as Pope Francis and cardinals leave a meeting in the synod hall at the Vatican on Feb. 20, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

Pope Francis asks forgiveness for clergy sex abuse scandal

(RNS) In his strongest personal remarks yet on the clergy sex abuse scandal, Pope Francis on Friday asked forgiveness “for the damage” that abusive priests have inflicted on children and pledged that the Catholic Church will not “take one step backward” in addressing the crisis.

Monsignor William J. Lynn - photo courtesy of Associated Press

What really endangers children? Churches that look away.

In the past years, most of us have become growingly aware of how common it is for pastors and others within faith communities to allow known or suspected sex offenders to have access to children. Sometimes this is fueled by ignorance, and other times it is fueled by a desire to place institutional “needs” over the value of a child’s soul.