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Pope Asks Forgiveness For Cover-up Of Clerical Abuse By Church Members

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Pope Francis has prayed for forgiveness for the physical, mental and sexual abuse carried out by members of the Catholic Church with roles of responsibility.

As he began the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park today, the Pontiff noted that he last night met with eight survivors who suffered abuse of power, of conscience and also sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

He said he was now placing “before the mercy of the Lord these crimes and to ask forgiveness for them.”

Speaking through a translator he also asked for special pardon for the abuses “committed in various types of institutions” run by representatives of the Church.

In addition he asked forgiveness for “some members of the Churches hierarchy that did not take charge of these painful situations and kept quiet.”

His prayer in full said: “Yesterday, I met with eight survivors who suffered abuse of power, of conscience and also sexual abuse,” he said.

“Taking up what they said to me, I want to place before the mercy of the Lord these crimes and to ask forgiveness for them.

“We ask forgiveness for the abuses in Ireland.

“Abuses of power, conscience and sexual abuses perpetrated by members with roles of responsibility in the church.

“In a special way we ask pardon for all the abuses committed in various types of institutions run by male or female religious [representatives] and by other members of the Church and we ask for forgiveness for those cases of exploitation through manual work that so many young women and men were subjected to.

“We ask forgiveness.

“We ask forgiveness for the times that as a church we did not show survivors of whatever kind of abuse, compassion and the seeking of justice and truth through concrete actions.

“We ask forgiveness.

“We ask forgiveness for some members of the Church's hierarchy that did not take charge of these painful situations and kept quiet.

“We ask forgiveness.

“We ask for forgiveness for all those times in which many single mothers were told that to seek their children who had been separated from them – and the same being said to daughters and sons themselves that this was a mortal sin.

“This is not a mortal sin.

“We ask forgiveness.

“Lord sustain and increase this state of shame and give us the strength to work for justice, Amen.”

The congregation comprised thousands of people who had gathered in Dublin's Phoenix Park for Pope Francis' Mass.

The ceremony brings his two-day visit to Ireland to an end.

 


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