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27/05/2014 12:46 BST | Updated 27/05/2014 12:59 BST

Pope Francis Likens Sex Abuse Of Children By Catholic Clergy To 'Black Mass'

The Head of the Catholic Church has likened the abuse of children by priests to “like celebrating a black Mass”.

Pope Francis made his comments on his return to Rome after a three-day trip to the Holy Land.

Speaking during a press conference aboard his plane, he revealed three bishops are currently under investigation over allegations of child abuse and one has already been convicted.

pope francis

'There will be no daddy's boys on my watch'

In comments reported by La Stampa’s Vatican Insider, he said: “When a priest commits abuse, he betrays the Lord’s body. A priest must guide children to sainthood. And the child trusts him. But instead, he abuses him or her.

“This is very serious. It’s like a celebrating a black Mass! And you create a problem that will stay with (the victim) for all of his or her life.

“… A zero tolerance needs to be adopted with regards to this issue.”

He added the inquiries were proof there would be no “daddy’s boys” in the clergy who enjoyed special privileges on his watch.

He also announced he would meet with a group of between six and eight sex abuse victims in June, the Catholic Herald reports.

The victims are from various countries, including Germany, England and Ireland, and they are expected to participate in a private Mass with him in the Vatican guesthouse.

In April Pope Francis issued an apology for clerical sex abuses against children, saying: “I feel called to take responsibility for all the evil some priests – large in number, but not in proportion to the total – have committed and to ask forgiveness for the damage they’ve done with the sexual abuse of children."

Pope Francis' Best Photos

Pope Francis' Best Photos