Pope Francis on Monday wrote a letter to Catholics around the world, addressing for the first time the recent alleged accusations of sexual abuse by priests. In the letter released by the Vatican, the Pope said the Church did not act in a timely manner to address the crimes. The head of the Catholic church said, "Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others.
"It is the first time that a pontiff has written to Catholics around the world about sexual abuse. The Pope said that the Church should "be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable". The letter comes in the aftermath of a 900-page report by a Pennsylvania grand jury in the United States that spoke about decades of sexual abuses by priests and cover-ups by bishops.