Pope Francis: Overriding Duty of All Is to Protect Against Abuse

Recalls 1st National Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse, Organized by Italian Bishops’ Conference

Weekend Trip to Malta
(C) Vatican Media

It is our overriding duty to protect young people and children against abuse, especially where they often are most vulnerable…

Pope Francis gave this reminder toward the end of today’s weekly Wednesday General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall when greeting Italian-speaking pilgrims, while recalling that tomorrow, Nov. 18, in Italy marks the first National Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse, promoted by Italian Bishops Conference.

“I hope that this initiative may be an opportunity for reflection, awareness and prayer to support the human and spiritual recovery of victims,” the Pope said.

“It is the overriding duty of all those who have any educational responsibility in the family, in the parish, in schools, in recreational and sporting places,” he continued, “to protect and respect the adolescents and young people entrusted to their care, because it is precisely in these places that most abuse occurs.”

Person’s Dignity Must Always Prevail

Also in his remarks to pilgrims present, Pope Francis said his thoughts are with the Italian workers of Borgo Valbelluna and the area, who are concerned about losing their jobs. In the face of their pressing problems, the Argentine Pontiff joined the area’s bishops and parish priests in expressing his closeness.

“I make a heartfelt appeal that in this situation, as in other similar ones that place so many families in difficulty, the logic of profit should not prevail, but that of fair and solidarity-based sharing,” Pope Francis exclaimed, underscoring: “The person and his dignity must always be placed at the center of every employment issue; when you do not earn your bread, you lose your dignity!”

Pope Francis concluded, praying: “We must pray a lot for these people.”

The Holy Father concluded bestowing his Apostolic Blessing.

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