On the last day of his American tour, Pope Francis met with victims of child sexual abuse, in an acknowledgement of one of the Catholic Church's most horrific scandals.
The private meeting with five survivors took place in Philadelphia. According to the Associated Press, not all of the people Francis met were victims of abuse by members of the church; some were abused by friends or family. Francis spoke about the encounter during an address to a large group of bishops.
"God weeps for the sexual abuse of children," he said, adding that he wanted to "commit to a careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected and all responsible will be held accountable."
Francis said that abuse survivors have "become true heralds of mercy."
The remarks come days after survivors strongly criticized Francis for telling bishops that they had showed "courage" in their handling of the Catholic Church's abuse crisis.