The Vatican has weighed in on the Pennsylvania sex scandal.

ABC News reports a statement issued this week has expressed "shame and sorrow" over the grand jury report of sexual abuse by priests in the commonwealth.

The Vatican statement called the abuse  "criminally and morally reprehensible" and said Pope Francis wants to eradicate "this tragic horror."

The statement did not quote the pontiff directly but said the victime should know that the pope is "on their side."

The statement also made no mention of demands made in the United States among some Catholics for the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington.

The grand jury report accused the cardinal of helping to protect some molester priests while he was bishop of Pittsburgh.

The cardinal has defended his actions as bishop, while expressing sympathy for the victims.

A Vatican spokesman called the abuse a betrayal of trust: "The church must learn hard lessons from its past, and there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur."

[Source: ABC News]