Pope Francis has condemned the “atrocities” of child sex abuse and clerical cover-ups in a letter to the world’s 1.2bn Roman Catholics.
The letter to “the People of God” calls for an end to the “culture of death” in the Church, addresses failures to deal with abuse and asks for forgiveness.
Last week a grand jury report detailed seven decades of abuse in Pennsylvania.
The landmark investigation found more than 1,000 identifiable minors had been abused by 300 priests in the US state.
Thousands more are thought to have fallen victim. The inquiry found evidence of systematic cover-ups by the Church, with many cases now too old for prosecution.
After the report was made public, the Vatican said the Pope was on the side of victims against “predator” priests.