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While speaking to the organization, the International Catholic Child Bureau, Pope Francis asked for forgiveness for the child abuse scandal at the hands of priest that has rocked the church and devastated victims around the world. He was quoted on Vatican Radio saying,

I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests—quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests—to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children. The church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children.

Though they are some of the most strong words used by the Pope when addressing the priest abuse, some groups say that without more action, the apology is not enough. The group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has told CNN and The Daily Beast that they believe that the Vatican—and a commission started by Pope Francis to address the abuse—could be doing more to prevent on-going abuse, improve transparency and punish those responsible ... Discuss

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Hundreds of Christians in the Chinese city of Wenzhou—which is known as “the Jerusalem of the East” for its large religious population—are mounting a round-the-clock human shield at a church to protect it from being bulldozed by Communist government officials. In red paint, the government, which is officially atheist, wrote the words “Illegal construction" and “demolish” on the outside of the new $4.8 million church last week. Since then, droves of Christians have stationed themselves at the church and are refusing to move. According to The Telegraph:

By day, Christians from around the province crowd the church's steps, with undercover security agents mingling among them, snapping photos and eavesdropping. By night, hundreds of worshippers take it in turns to keep watch, grabbing a few hours of sleep on cramped wooden pews between shifts.

Though the Chinese government has long taken issue with underground Christian communities that refuse to comply with state rules, the church in Wenzhou is actually a part of the officially sanctioned Protestant denomination. A local government representative told a Telegraph reporter that the multi-million dollar structure—which took six years to build—was “structurally unsound”. According to the paper though, the massive and influential Christian church has drawn the ire of local Communist officials. In the province of Zhejiang (which has seven million residents) where Wenzhou is located, nearly 15% of the population is church-going Christians ... Discuss

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