Pope Francis: Clerical Sex Abuse an 'Absolute Monstrosity' - NBC Southern California
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Pope Francis: Clerical Sex Abuse an 'Absolute Monstrosity'

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    Pope Francis: Clerical Sex Abuse an 'Absolute Monstrosity'
    AP
    Pope Francis arrives to celebrate the Holy Mass for the Jubilee of inmates, at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Pope Francis asked forgiveness for what he called an "absolute monstrosity" in the Roman Catholic Church's history in the preface to a new book by a survivor of clerical sexual abuse, NBC News reported.

    "It is difficult for a victim of pedophilia to speak out about what they have endured and to describe the trauma that still persists many years later," Pope Francis writes in "Father, I Forgive You" by Daniel Pittet, a Swiss man who was repeatedly raped by a Capuchin friar as a child.

    Francis has spoken out against clerical sexual abuse before, but his latest word on the subject is uniquely personal, with the pontiff saying the suicides of victims "weigh heavy on my heart, on my conscience and on the Church as a whole."

    The book will be published in Italy on Thursday but La Republica newspaper ran the pope's preface in full on Monday.

    Gregorio Borgia/AP