By Sarah Mac Donald - 27 May, 2014
Speaking on-board his return flight to Rome, at the close of his Middle East visit, the Pontiff confirmed the official meeting with survivors, which will be the first of his papacy.
He named Ireland as one of the countries from which up to eight survivors would be drawn from.
Earlier this month, Marie Collins met the Pope twice during the course of a weekend meeting of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors.
Speaking to reporters on Monday evening, Pope Francis compared clerical abuse to the performance of a Black Mass.
Referring to it as a “very grave” problem, the Pontiff said the church had to move ahead with a policy of zero tolerance.
In addition to Ireland, the survivors will include representatives from the UK and Germany.
Pope Francis said he would celebrate a private Mass and that Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of the Vatican commission on child protection will be present at the gathering.