Pope Francis To Meet With Church Sexual Abuse Survivors

In a first for his papacy, Pope Francis will meet with survivors of church sexual abuse from the U.K., Germany and Ireland.
Posted at 9:36 PM, May 26, 2014

Pope Francis announced plans to meet with sexual abuse victims next month after declaring a "zero tolerance policy" for the abuse of children by members of the clergy.

According to Al Jazeera, on his way back from his tour of the Middle East, the pope told reporters he will meet with victims in June, a first during his papacy. 

The Boston Globe reports Francis called sexual abuse by clergy members a "very grave crime," and plans to meet with victims from the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland.

USA Today reports the pope also said three Catholic Bishops are currently under investigation by the church, though it's not clear if they're thought to have committed abuse themselves or helped cover it up.

Although this will be Pope Francis' first time meeting with victims of sexual abuse, he won't be the first pope to do so. 

Pope Benedict XVI also met with several U.S. victims back in 2008 after years of allegations of sexual abuse and church trials against accused clerics. (Via ABC)

The meeting is expected to be hosted at the Vatican's on-site hotel.