Pope Francis makes historic visit to Ireland

Pope Francis “begged for God’s forgiveness” on Sunday for multiple abuse scandals within the Irish church but faced accusations by a former Vatican official that he had personally ignored allegations against senior clergy.

In front of 45,000 supporters at the rain-soaked Knock shrine in the west of Ireland, the pope sought forgiveness over the “open wound” of the church’s sexual abuse scandal and demanded “firm and decisive” measures to find “truth and justice”.

At a later Mass to tens of thousands of flag-waving worshippers at Dublin’s Phoenix Park, the showpiece event of the two-day visit to the former Catholic stronghold, he also confessed to other abuses by the Irish church, including at its so-called “mother and baby” homes.

But in the city center around 5,000 abuse victims and their supporters braved the weather to attend the “Stand for Truth” rally. (AFP)

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