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Pope Francis Denounces Porn And Corruption of Kids' Minds, Bodies

Pope Francis on Friday fully backed their proposals to toughen sanctions against those who abuse and exploit children online and improve technological filters to prevent young people from accessing porn online.

Associated Press

Updated:October 6, 2017, 10:33 PM IST
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Pope Francis Denounces Porn And Corruption of Kids' Minds, Bodies
File photo of Pope Francis.
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Vatican City: Pope Francis on Friday denounced the proliferation of adult and child pornography on the internet and demanded better protections for children online even as the Vatican confronts its own cross-border child porn investigation involving a top papal envoy.

Francis met with participants of a Catholic Church-backed international conference on fighting child pornography and protecting children in the digital age.

He fully backed their proposals to toughen sanctions against those who abuse and exploit children online and improve technological filters to prevent young people from accessing porn online.

Francis said the Catholic Church knew well the "grave error" of trying to conceal the problem of sexual abuse a reference to the church's long history of having priests who rape and molest children and bishops who cover up for them. Several well-known cases have involved priests having child porn, or photographing their victims.

Francis said an international, cross-disciplinary approach was needed to protect children from the dark net and the "corruption of their minds and violence against their bodies."

Using terms that are certainly new to papal lexicon, Francis denounced "extreme pornography" on the web that adults, and increasingly children consume, and the increasing use of "sexting" and "sextortion" among the estimated 800 million minors who navigate the internet.

"We would be seriously deluding ourselves were we to think that a society where an abnormal consumption of internet sex is rampant among adults could be capable of effectively protecting minors," he said.
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