CNA Staff, May 15, 2021 / 06:00 am
Pope Francis told an anti-pedophilia group Saturday that its work is “more necessary than ever.”
Speaking to members of the Meter association in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on May 15, the pope noted that the internet is facilitating child abuse.
He said: “Your work is more necessary than ever because, unfortunately, the abuse of children continues. I refer in particular to the solicitations that take place through the internet and the various social media, with pages and portals dedicated to child pornography.”
“This is a scourge that, on the one hand, needs to be addressed with renewed determination by institutions, and, on the other hand, requires an even stronger awareness on the part of families and the various educational agencies.”
He added: “Even today we see how often in families, the first reaction is to cover everything up; a first reaction that is always there in other institutions and even in the Church. We have to fight with this old habit of covering up. I know that you are always vigilant in protecting children even in the context of the most modern media.”
The Guardian newspaper reported in February that the rapidly expanding volume of child abuse material online is threatening to overwhelm U.K. police.
It said that the U.K.’s child abuse image database contained 17 million unique images, with half a million more added every two months.
In his address, the pope noted that the Meter association, based in the city of Avola, Sicily, dates back to 1989, “when few people talked about this scourge.”