ROME — Pope Francis on Monday is holding his first meeting with victims of a sexual abuse scandal by priests that has tarnished the image of the Catholic Church over the last decade.

The pope will meet with victims from Britain, Ireland and Germany after holding a private mass at the Vatican which they will attend.

In late May while on a visit to the Middle East the pope declared "zero tolerance" for any member of the clergy who would violate a child. That followed a pledge by the Vatican to craft protocols to hold bishops and other church authorities accountable if they fail to report suspected abuse or protect children from pedophile priests.

Read or Share this story: