The Dutch Catholic Church has confirmed that a bishop who died last year had sexually abused two boys decades earlier.

The diocese of Roermond said a Church commission had found that accusations against former bishop Johannes Gijsen - which dated back to his time as chaplain at a seminary from 1958 to 1961 - were "well founded".

The admission came on Friday, the same day that Pope Francis made his first public plea for forgiveness for "all the evil" committed by priests who molested children, and said the Church had to do more to discipline wayward clerics.

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