Europe

Abuse inquiry deserves to be studied: Pope

The final report from the child abuse royal commission "deserves to be studied seriously", the Vatican says. Source: AAP

The Vatican has acknowledged the final findings of Australia's child abuse royal commission, saying the report "deserves to be studied seriously".

The final report from the child abuse royal commission "deserves to be studied seriously", the Vatican says.

The child abuse royal commission's final report on Friday recommended celibacy should be voluntary for the clergy to reduce the risk of harm to children.

While not addressing the recommendations specifically, the press office of the Holy See did acknowledge the report in a brief statement.

"The final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in Australia is the result of the Commission's thorough efforts over the past several years, and deserves to be studied seriously," the Holy See said on the website.

"The Holy See remains committed to being close to the Catholic Church in Australia - lay faithful, religious, and clergy alike - as they listen to and accompany victims and survivors in an effort to bring about healing and justice."

The $500 million, five-year inquiry has finished its work by outlining widespread changes designed to prevent children being sexually abused and improve the responses of institutions after decades of failure.

The recommendations on celibacy and confession were widely rejected by senior Australian Catholics.

Pope Francis labelled child abuse by priests a "monstrosity" last year and has supported the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

The press office of the Holy See said Pope Francis called for the church to be "a place of compassion, especially for those who have suffered, and reaffirmed that the Church is committed to safe environments for the protection of all children and vulnerable adults".

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