Wednesday 19 December 2018

Pope Francis begs the 'Lord's forgiveness' for child abuse 'scandal and betrayal'

Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives at Knock Shrine.
Pic Steve Humphreys
26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
26/08/2018 A young girl waves a flag as pope Francis visited Knock Shrine as part of the World Meeting of Families. Pic credit; Damien Eagers / INM
Pope Francis delivers an address to the crowd at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis cape blows over his head during a windy spell as he delivers his speech at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis arrives at the Apparition Chapel at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets addresses the crowd at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis addresses the crowd as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Young girls waving flags as Pope Francis arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
26/08/2018 Cleonagh and Declan Sweeney, from Raheen, Limerick with their children from left to right, Cathal, 9, Amy, 7, Katelyn, 4, and Donnacha, 10 at Knock Shrine for the visit of Pope Francis. Pic credit; Damien Eagers / INM
Pilgrims listen to Pope Francis address the crowd at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
26/08/2018 Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he visited Knock Shrine as part of the World Meeting of Families. Pic credit; Damien Eagers / INM
26/08/2018 Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he visited Knock Shrine as part of the World Meeting of Families. Pic credit; Damien Eagers / INM
Pilgrims listen to Pope Francis address the crowd at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pilgrims listen to Pope Francis address the crowd at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
26/08/2018 Pope Francis passes Knock Basilica as he visited Knock Shrine as part of the World Meeting of Families. Pic credit; Damien Eagers / INM
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Empty seats as Pope Francis addresses the crowd after he arrived at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Declan Ganley arriving at Knock Shrine to see Pope Francis. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Declan Ganley arriving at Knock Shrine to see Pope Francis. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Empty seats as Pope Francis addresses the crowd after he arrived at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis arrives for his visit to Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo to view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis cape blows over his head during a windy spell as he delivers his speech at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis arrives at the Apparition Chapel at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets addresses the crowd at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis addresses the crowd as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis delivers an address to the crowd at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis delivers an address to the crowd at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pope Francis greets Knock School Children at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Members of Pope Francis Entourage board the Plane at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis leaves Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Gardai pictured waiting to say goodbye to OPope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018

Fiona Dillon, Ralph Riegel and Laura Larkin

Pope Francis has described the impact of abuse committed by members of the Church in Ireland as an “open wound,” in his address to pilgrims in Knock.

Speaking in the Co Mayo village this morning, he said that: “None of us can fail to be moved by the stories of young people who suffered abuse, were robbed of their innocence and left scarred by painful memories.

“This open wound challenges us to be firm and decisive in the pursuit of truth and justice,” he said.

“I beg the Lord’s forgiveness for these sins and for the scandal and betrayal felt by so may others in God’s family,” he said.

“I ask our Blessed Mother to intercede for the healing of the survivors and to confirm every member of our Christian family in the resolve never again to permit these situations to occur,” he said.

Pope Francis asked that in his prayer before the statue of Our Lady, “I presented to her in particular all the victims of abuse of whatever kind committed by members of the Church in Ireland.”

Pope Francis greets children after arriving in Knock, Ireland August 26, 2018. Vatican Media/Handout
Pope Francis greets children after arriving in Knock, Ireland August 26, 2018. Vatican Media/Handout
Schoolchildren from St. Patrick’s National School, Cloonlyon wait to greet Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis is presented with flowers by Saoirse McCarthy, 11, from St. Patrick's National School, Cloonlyon, Co. Mayo as he arrives at Ireland West Airport, Knock, County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. WMOF18/Maxwell Photography/PA Wire
Pope Francis arrives for his visit to Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo to view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pope Francis greets school children after arriving at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis greets school children after arriving at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis greets school children after arriving at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis greets school children after arriving at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis during a visit to Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo to view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pope Francis during a visit to Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo to view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pope Francis leads the Angelus at the Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Pope Francis lights a candle at the Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland August 26, 2018. Vatican Media/Handout
Pope Francis lays a wreath at the Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland August 26, 2018. Vatican Media/Handout
Pope Francis leads the Angelus at the Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
REFILE - CORRECTING BYLINE Pope Francis leads the Angelus at the Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Pope Francis arrives at the Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Pope Francis arrives at the Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Pope Francis receives flowers from children after arriving in Knock, Ireland August 26, 2018. Vatican Media/Handout
Pope Francis speaks to the audience during his visit to Knock, Ireland August 26, 2018. Vatican Media/Handout

He was clapped by members of the congregation at several points.

There has been global attention focused on how the issue of abuse is being tackled during this visit.

He delivered his address at a lectern, as a translation was provided on the big screens for the assembled pilgrims.

Pope Francis also noted his inability to include Northern Ireland on his two day itinerary.

"My pilgrimage to Knock also allows me to address a warm greeting to the beloved people of Northern Ireland."

"Although my journey for the World Meeting of Families does not include a visit to the North, I assure you of my affection and my closeness in prayer."

"I ask Our Lady to sustain all the members of the Irish family to persevere, as brothers and sisters, in the work of reconciliation."

Pope Francis also spoke of the importance of ecumenism.

He also included a prayer for those in prison.

Yesterday, he held a one hour meeting with survivors of clerical abuse, which was held at the Papal Nunciature, just off the Navan Road.

He met Irish survivors of clerical, religious and institutional abuse for ninety minutes.” The Pope described what happened in Ireland as “repugnant.”

The Pope touched down in Ireland West Airport this morning, and arrived in a cavalcade at Knock Shrine. He got into his Popemobile and travelled around the shrine.

The bells rang out this morning in churches in six dioceses to mark the beginning of the gathering at Knock shrine.

The three backdrops to the Papal stage were designed by local graphic designer Sinéad Mallee who is based in Knock.

The centre panel measuring 3.5m wide by 6m high depicts a monotone of the Knock Apparition scene of 1879 as a watermark against a vivid blue background.

The left panel depicts a closer view of the detail of the figures of Our Lady, St Joseph, St John the Evangelist and some of the Knock witnesses.

The right panel depicts a closer detail of a lamb and cross on an altar of the gable wall of the Parish Church surrounded by angels, representing the Lamb of God.

Pope Francis lit a candle in a display centred on the hewn-out stump of a tree that fell in the shrine grounds last winter.

Fifteen parishioners of Knock shrine dressed in period costume represented the original witnesses to the apparition in a ceremony earlier today at Knock.

The origins of Knock as a place of pilgrimage and devotion date back to the 21st century 1879 when 15 local people aged from 5 to 74 witnessed an apparition on the gable wall of the Parish church.

After his visit to the Shrine, the Pope boarded his flight back to Dublin at approximately 11.20am. 

His visit west has been brief having arrived shortly after 9.30am.

He will join crowds gathered in the Phoenix Park at 2.30pm before leading mass at 3pm.

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