Pope Francis Says U.S. Child Sex Abuse Scandal 'Will Never Be Repeated'

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Speaking at the Cathedral of St. Matthews in Washington, Pope Francis addressed the American Catholic church sexual abuse scandal on September 23. Mark Wilson/Reuters

Pope Francis addressed American Bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthews in Washington on Wednesday when he led midday prayers as part of his tour of the United States. During his speech, the pope said the Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal "will never be repeated." The Bishops applauded his statement.

Numerous leaders within the Catholic Church have been accused of sexually abusing children and sheltering abusers over the last two decades. Some of the priests involved in the scandal have resigned, others have been charged for their crimes. The Vatican has been heavily embroiled in the scandal, accused of quieting the abused and protecting abusers.

The scandal has not been solely an American issue: Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, last September. Brady was accused of covering up the sexual abuse of a priest he worked with in a documentary. The same documentary focused on Father Brendan Smyth, who plead guilty to 74 counts of abuse across 30 years.

In addition to addressing the scandal, Pope Francis discussed education, charity and humility.