In a pastoral letter to Irish Catholics, he acknowledged the sense of betrayal in the Church felt by victims and their families and expressed "shame and remorse".
The Pope said those guilty of abuse must "answer before God and properly constituted tribunals for the sinful and criminal actions they have committed".
The letter addressed only the scandal in Ireland, not the other cases of abuse which have recently come to light in other countries across Europe, including in the pope's native Germany.
Is the Catholic Church doing enough to address these child abuse scandals? Does the Pope's letter go far enough? How has he handled the situation?