Pope Francis: Pedophile Priests Must Turn Themselves In or Go to Hell

Pope Francis has urged the Catholic Church’s pedophile priests to turn themselves in or prepare for “divine justice” in Hell. It’s not clear if the pontiff was instructing predator priests to turn themselves over to church authorities or the police, but Vatican sources told Reuters that it was the first time the pope had made such a strong and direct appeal to them. “To those who abuse minors, I would say this: Convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice,” Francis said in his traditional Christmas address to the Curia, the Vatican’s central administration. “Let it be clear that, faced with these abominations, the church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice to whoever has committed such crimes. The church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case.” Earlier this year, Francis first strongly defended a bishop in Chile who had been accused of covering up abuse, only later to launch an inquiry and accept the resignation of that bishop and others. The pope acknowledged that the church made serious errors in the past but promised to make “past mistakes opportunities for eliminating this scourge.”