John Paul II

Pope Francis begins visit to Chile and Peru with apology for sexual abuse by priests

Pope Francis begins visit to Chile and Peru with apology for sexual abuse by priests

Pope Francis opened the first full day of his visit to Chile with a somber apology for clerical sexual abuse, confronting a scandal that has roiled the Roman Catholic Church here and elsewhere.

"I cannot help but express the pain and shame, shame that I feel over the irreparable harm caused to children by church ministers," Francis said at La Moneda presidential palace here in the Chilean capital.

“It is fair to ask for forgiveness?” he asked.

Later, after presiding over an open-air Mass with an estimated 400,000 faithful gathered in the capital’s O’Higgins Park, Francis expanded on his apology in a doleful address at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago,...

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