Pope Francis Tells Bishops to Defend Children from Sexual Abuse, Speaks to Italy’s Earthquake Victims

08-600Pope Francis addressed the church’s sex abuse scandal, telling bishops around the world they must adhere to a policy of zero tolerance. In a letter the pope said he wanted to renew the church’s commitment to ensuring that “these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.” Francis also welcomed to the Vatican thousands of victims of Italy’s recent earthquakes. The pope talked for about 20 minutes with no notes, saying that rather than rely on a prepared sermon, he had spoken only after listening to victims.