Vatican Acknowledges ‘No Excuse’ For Child Abuse

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Pope Francis prays in Saint Peter square at the Vatican. (Getty Images)

Pope Francis prays in Saint Peter square at the Vatican. (Getty Images)

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GENEVA (AP) — The Vatican has acknowledged there can be “no excuse” for child abuse, confronted for the first time at length and in public over the global priest sex abuse scandal.

At a U.N. hearing, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative in Geneva, says “such crimes can never be justified” whether committed at home, school, sports activities or in religious organizations and structures.

Tomasi told a U.N. committee Thursday the Holy See welcomes any suggestions that could help it in promoting and encouraging the respect of the rights of the child.

He spoke at the beginning of a hearing at which the Vatican is being challenged with allegations it enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting pedophile priests and its own reputation at the expense of victims.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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