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In a speech promising that the church would never again cover up sexual abuse by priests the Pope compared his critics to Judas.
Pope Francis was speaking at the Vatican’s central administrative body the Curia.
He did not mention any individual by name, but seemed to speak about senior clerics who have accused him of not tackling the issue of sexual abuse in the church effectively.
“Behind these sowers of discord you almost always find 30 pieces of silver,” he said. “They hide behind good intentions in order to stab their brothers and sisters in the back and to sow weeds, division and bewilderment.
“They always find excuses, including intellectual and spiritual excuses, to progress unperturbed on the path to perdition.”
In August, Monsignor Carlo Maria Vigano, former papal ambassador to the United States called for the Pope to resign for his alleged failure to discipline abusive clerics.
The Pope vowed that the church would never again turn a blind eye to the sexual abuse of minors.
He added that they should not be narrow minded when dealing with the issues of sexual abuse and suggested that corrupt clergy were to be found at the highest levels of church.
He asked: “Do you perhaps believe brethren that weeds cannot spring up even on the thrones of bishops?”
Seeing to reassure the audience, Pope Francis admitted that it was undeniable that previous allegations of abuse were not treated with the serious and promptness that was necessary and added “this must never happen again”.
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