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Child abuse royal commission: Former pope John Paul II handled allegations ‘poorly’, inquiry hears

Former pope John Paul II handled sex abuse claims within the church “poorly” because he simply could not grasp the scale of the problem, a retired senior Bishop in Sydney says.

Geoffrey Robinson, a key player in the church’s response to child sexual abuse by members of the clergy between 1994 and 2003, is giving evidence today before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.

Bishop Robinson said he felt the Vatican was far behind in its understanding of the problem worldwide, and that John Paul II — the Pontiff from 1978 to 2005 — showed little leadership on the issue.

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Pope Francis says it is fine for parents to smack their children if they are misbehaving

Pope Francis has said it is fine for parents to smack their children as punishment for misbehaving.

The Pope said parents should punish their children, ‘do the right thing, and then move on,’ as he acted out the movement of smacking a child on the bottom.

The pontiff made the remarks in front of a large crowd during his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday.

Addressing the crowd, Pope Francis recalled a conversation he had had with a father who had admitted to him that he would sometimes hit his children as punishment.

‘One time, I heard a father say, “At times I have to hit my children a bit, but never in the face so as not to humiliate them”.

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Philadelphia Child Sex Abuse Nonprofit Invites Pope Francis to Visit Read more: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philadelphia-Child-Sex-Abuse-Nonprofit-Invites-Pope-Francis-for-a-Visit

How do you put an international spotlight on an issue like child sexual abuse which people often don’t like to hear about?

Have the leader of one the largest organized religions in the world stop by for a visit.

That’s what staff of the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance (PCA) are hoping will happen come September.

The nonprofit, which offers care to sexually abused children and works with police to bring their abusers to justice, penned a letter to Pope Francis asking him to visit their facility when he travels to Philadelphia for the upcoming World Meeting of Families conference.

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