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Sun, 06 Jul 2014 14:46:35 +0000
(ROME) -- Pope Francis is preparing to meet for the first time victims of child sex abuse by priests.
On Monday, six abuse victims from Britain, Germany, and Ireland will get together with the pope at his residence inside Vatican City in a private meeting.
The pope announced the encounter in late May, when he condemned sex abuse of children by priests a crime comparable to a "satanic Mass" and when he promised "zero tolerance."
Victims groups had criticized Francis for being too quiet on the abuse issue and were outraged when he said his church has tackled the issue with the utmost "transparency and responsibility."
Last year, the pope set up a commission of experts, including a victim, to advise him on how to handle the sex abuse crisis. That commission will be meeting on Monday, as the pope listens to direct testimony from the victims.
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