World

Pope Francis calls Spanish sex abuse victim in case where 3 priests, layman arrested

Pope Francis, flanked by Vatican spokesman father Federico Lombardi, first right, talks to journalists during a press conference he held aboard the papal flight on his way back from Strasbourg, eastern France, at the end of a one day visit to the European Parliament and Council, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Pope Francis has demanded Europe craft a unified and fair immigration policy, saying the thousands of refugees coming ashore need acceptance and assistance, not self-interested policies that risk lives and fuel social conflict. Francis made the comments Tuesday to the European Parliament during a brief visit meant to highlight his vision for Europe a quarter-century after St. John Paul II travelled to Strasbourg to address a continent still divided by the Iron Curtain. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis, flanked by Vatican spokesman father Federico Lombardi, first right, talks to journalists during a press conference he held aboard the papal flight on his way back from Strasbourg, eastern France, at the end of a one day visit to the European Parliament and Council, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Pope Francis has demanded Europe craft a unified and fair immigration policy, saying the thousands of refugees coming ashore need acceptance and assistance, not self-interested policies that risk lives and fuel social conflict. Francis made the comments Tuesday to the European Parliament during a brief visit meant to highlight his vision for Europe a quarter-century after St. John Paul II travelled to Strasbourg to address a continent still divided by the Iron Curtain. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis says he personally called a Spaniard who said he was sexually abused by a priest and urged him to report it to the diocese.

Three priests and a layman were arrested Monday in connection with the case in the southern city of Granada.

Francis, speaking to reporters while returning home from Strasbourg on Tuesday, says he received a letter from the alleged victim and then phoned him, telling him to go to the Granada diocese in person to report the abuse that took place about 10 years ago. Francis says he wrote to the bishop and urged him to launch an investigation.

The pope says the case is causing him "great pain ... But the truth is the truth and we can't hide it."