Pope Francis feels 'pain and shame' over sex abuse scandal

Isaac Cain
January 18, 2018

The meeting took place as part of the Pope's January 15-22 apostolic visit to Chile and Peru. She points to one recent positive development, where women are allowed to take six months maternity after birth, which was not possible in her day.

Pope Francis "listened, prayed and cried with them", Burke said.

According to the Washington Post, when Chileans were asked to evaluate Pope Francis on a scale of 0 to 10, they gave him a 5.3, "the lowest ranking he has received in Latin America".

Earlier, the 81-year-old pontiff said: "I can not begin to express the pain and shame that I feel over the irreparable harm caused to children by some ministers of the church", vowing to commit to ensure the abuses would never happen again. He said he joined his fellow bishops in asking forgiveness, supporting victims and ensuring abuse doesn't happen again.

"Pope's apology comes at a time when attacks on the Catholic churches in Chile" Chile have increased significantly over the past week. He told local media that a pamphlet was found at the scene but declined to provide more details.

Jesus' first act before preaching, the pope said, was to "look out and see the faces of his people".

The gifts also included an earthenware piece depicting the Quasimodo, a traditional Chilean procession during Holy Week, when men and women in traditional dress go, on horseback, to give Communion to the sick and elderly who can not make it to church.

Pope Francis apologized Tuesday to Chilean victims of sexual abuse by priests for the "irreparable damage" they suffered - but survivor Juan Carlos Cruz says his words are just "empty headlines".

After many complaints, the church carried out an internal investigation and found the priest, Father Karadima, guilty of sexual abuse of minors and psychological abuse.

One of the inmates chosen to speak for all, Janeth Zurita Interna, said she wanted to publicly apologize for her crimes and ask for mercy for the children who are growing up in prison with their mothers.

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At the same time, he demanded that the government not just negotiate "elegant" agreements with the indigenous people, but actually implement them.

In the lead-up to the Pope's trip, a number of the Mapuche had protested the use of the airport for the papal Mass, given the serious human-rights violations that took place there, arguing that the land belongs to them and not the government.

The pope has been criticized for elevating Father Barros to bishop in 2015 despite being aware of the allegations against him.

Barros attended a Mass celebrated by Francis on Tuesday in Santiago.

The pope also championed indigenous rights ahead of a visit on Wednesday to a region in southern Chile that has become embroiled in the Mapuche indigenous people's fight to reclaim ancestral lands.

Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile, arrives for Pope Francis' meeting with Chile's bishops in the sacristy of the cathedral in Santiago, Chile, Jan. 16.

In a nod to the centuries-long struggle indigenous people in the region have waged, Francis greeted the different indigenous people of the region: the Mapuche, the Rapanui (from Easter Island), the Aymara, the Quechua and the Atacamenos. In one of the most poignant moments of that trip, the Polish pope delivered a speech to young people gathered in Santiago's national stadium, which had been used as a detention and torture center.

He also said he "was concerned by the formation of seminarians" and warned against the temptations of clericalism.

"Sex abuse is Pope Francis' weakest spot in terms of his credibility", said Massimo Faggioli, a Vatican expert and theology professor at Villanova University in Philadelphia.

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