Pope Francis said on Wednesday that people who spent their lives denouncing the Catholic Church were friends of the devil, as survivors of sexual abuse by clergymen accused him of snubbing an invitation to meet them.
Speaking on the eve of a conference he has convened to guide senior bishops on how to tackle widespread abuse that has decimated the Church’s credibility, Frances said its mistakes should be corrected.
But those accusers who did nothing but criticize the Church were “friends, cousins and relatives of the devil,” he told worshippers at the Vatican.
Gathered outside the Vatican, a group of abuse survivors said they were disappointed that the pontiff had declined their invitation to meet them.
“We believed that this morning’s meeting would be with the Pope, with a cross-section of survivors from around the world,” one, Englishman Peter Saunders, told Reuters TV.
“It would seem that the Pope, once again, is giving the two fingers to survivors and to child protection everywhere,” he said, using an English expression for a crude gesture.
reporting by Eleanor Biles; Writing by John Stonestreet, Editing by William Maclean
REVEALED: Speaker Pelosi says she had to stop White House meeting because Trump was too ‘shaken’ by GOP criticism
According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump was "shaken up" by the realization that Republicans are criticizing him over his huge mistake in Syria.
"It comes at a very difficult time for him," said Pelosi outside the White House meeting. "Earlier today the House of Representatives voted what, 354-60 in opposition to the actions that he has taken in Syria. It calls upon the president to urgently use exercise with restraint and for us to have a humanitarian assistant to some of the Kurdish children being killed there, and reaching support."
Most importantly, however, the bill mandated a clear plan from the president on how to handle ISIS. Just last week, Trump made a unilateral decision to betray the Kurdish people and allow Turkey to bomb them. According to reports, the decision stemmed from Trump's desire to get off the phone.
National Enquirer tried to protect Trump from allegation of forcibly raping 13-year-old girl: report
Two of the scandals swirling around President Donald appear to have collided in a blockbuster new book by investigative reporter Ronan Farrow.
Trump's relationship with American Media Incorporated (AMI), which owned the National Enquirer supermarket tabloid, has been under focus for a $150,000 hush money payment to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal.
Trump has also faced ongoing scrutiny for his longtime friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
The relationship between the two scandals was examined in the new book Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.
Republican stumbles as he tries to defend Trump’s claim that Iran can be trusted to fight ISIS
During an appearance on Fox News this Wednesday, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) hit a snag while trying to justify President Trump's earlier contention that Russia and Iran would step in to fill the void left by the US after its withdrawal from northeast Syria, saying that "Russia, Iran, Syria and to maybe slightly lesser extent Turkey, they all hate ISIS as much as we do," during a Wednesday press conference alongside Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Speaking to Biggs, Fox News host Harris Faulkner pointed out that Trump's willingness to partly cede Syria's future to Iran contradicts his and other conservatives' rhetoric towards the Islamic Republic.