Thursday, 27 June, 2019

Pope pleads for forgiveness from sex abuse victims in Chile

Pope pleads for forgiveness from sex abuse victims in Chile Pope pleads for forgiveness from sex abuse victims in Chile
Patty Aguilar | 17 January, 2018, 02:14

A planned mass on Tuesday morning in Santiago is expected to attract more than 500,000 people, government officials said.

A smiling Pope Francis drew a big crowd at an outdoor Mass in the Chilean capital Tuesday during the first full day of his six-day visit to Chile and Peru.

Pope's apology comes at a time when attacks on the Catholic churches in Chile have increased significantly over the past week.

Pope Francis begged for forgiveness yesterday for the "irreparable damage" done to children who were raped and molested by priests, opening his visit to Chile by diving head-first into a scandal that has greatly hurt the Catholic Church's credibility here and cast a cloud over his visit. The outbursts were due in part to distrust caused by years of unmitigated sexual predation by some of Chile's priests, most notably Rev. Fernando Karadima, according to the Associated Press.

Pope pleads for forgiveness from sex abuse victims in Chile

He said the Catholic Church was committed to "ensuring that such things don't happen again". Nor did he refer to the fact that the emeritus archbishop of Santiago, a top papal adviser, has acknowledged he knew of complaints against Karadima but didn't remove him from ministry. The Vatican subsequently sentenced Karadima in 2011 to a lifetime of penitence and prayer and forbade him from ever again performing ministerial duties. Francis' role in the funeral deeply upset victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

But the pope did not receive a universal welcome, with scuffles breaking out between riot police and demonstrators in the vicinity of O'Higgins Park.

"We need concrete actions that the pope has not taken with the Chilean church", said Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for a lay association in the southern city of Osorno. Unidentified arsonists also firebombed three more churches in protest against Francis on Monday night, completely incinerating one of them. Pope Francis, 81, is accused of being a "paedophile accomplice" in Chile.

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