Pope Francis in Ireland Sunday “begged for God’s forgiveness” for the child sexual abuse scandal rocking the church but faced accusations by a former Vatican official that he had personally ignored allegations against senior clergy.
Pope Francis leads the Easter mass in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Francis is due to speak in front of some 500,000 faithful in Dublin’s Phoenix Park as part of his two-day visit to the former Catholic stronghold of Ireland, as abuse victims and their supporters gathered in a “Stand for Truth” rally in the city centre to demand justice. During Sunday’s address to 45,000 supporters at the rain-soaked Knock shrine in the west of the country, the pope “begged for God’s forgiveness” for the “open wound” of the scandal and demanded “firm and decisive” measures to find “truth and justice”.