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World

Pope seeks forgiveness in Ireland for decades of abuse perpetrated by clergy

Dublin /- Pope Francis concluded a two-day visit to Ireland on Sunday by repeatedly seeking forgiveness from congregations in the country for the abuses perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church.

The pontiff addressed many thousands at Phoenix Park in Dublin and publicly repented for the clergy’s actions.

“We ask for forgiveness for those places of exploitation of manual work, that so many young women and men were subjected to,” he said. “In a special way we ask pardon for all the abuses committed in various types of institutions run by male or female religious, and by other members of the Church,” the pope added.

Earlier in the day, thousands of worshipers braved steady rain to attend an address by Francis at a renowned pilgrimage site in the town of Knock in Ireland’s northwestern County Mayo where he also apologized for the many cases of abuse perpetrated on children and women by the Church’s clergy over decades.

The pope had traveled to the shrine where many believe locals saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary and other religious icons including angels back in 1879.

The pontiff said he had been deeply distressed by the stories of those who had suffered abuse and “were robbed of their innocence and left scarred by painful memories.”

The esplanade of the shrine had also been visited by John Paul II during his 1979 visit to the island.

Some 450,000 people attended the Polish Pope‘s visit to Knock, and more than a million turned out for a mass he held in Phoenix Park, but the fortunes of the Church in Ireland have been dealt a serious blow by the abuse scandal.

As a result, the country is very different today, something recalled on Saturday by Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar.

The Roman Catholic Church has lost much of its influence and support due to the thousands of cases of abuse by the clergy against children and women.

Varadkar, a Christian Democrat and also the first Irish head of government to be openly gay, asked the pope to “take action” and use his influence to ensure the Church deals transparently with all pending and future abuse cases.

The Pope had agreed that abuse represented “disgusting crimes” and said the Church would adopt new and decisive rules to deal with such cases, but he did not reveal any concrete measures to be taken, something that drew criticism from victims’ groups.

Eight victims of abuse met with the pope late Saturday.

Also, a retired Church diplomat said in a letter that the pope had been aware of allegations of abuse perpetrated by leading members of the clergy as early as 2013 but had chosen to not take any action.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 77, a former Vatican ambassador to the United States called on the pope to resign, adding that the pontiff had been part of a “conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia.”

The Pope said he had been shocked to learn of some 6,000 babies who died and 3,000 others who disappeared under the care of the clergy.

After his Knock address, Francis flew back to Dublin where he held the closing mass of the World Meeting of Families in Phoenix Park, an event that on this occasion was expected to draw around half a million people.

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Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas. (Read the news and answer the questions.)

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Question 1
En el texto se dice que el papa Francisco...      
A
evitó abordar el tema de los abusos que fueron cometidos por miembros de la Iglesia en Irlanda.
B
pidió perdón por todos los abusos que fueron cometidos por los sacerdotes en Irlanda.
C
anunció que pedirá perdón públicamente por todos los abusos que fueron cometidos por la Iglesia.
Question 2
El papa Francisco leyó ese mensaje...  
A
antes de que comenzara la misa en la capital irlandesa.
B
antes de que se inaugurara el Encuentro Mundial de las Familias en Irlanda.
C
después de que terminara una misa en la capital irlandesa.
Question 3
Según el texto, el papa Francisco...      
A
estuvo a punto de reunirse con varias víctimas antes de que comenzara la misa.
B
se reunió con varias víctimas después de que se oficiara una misa.
C
se reunió con algunas víctimas de esos abusos en la víspera de esa misa.
Question 4
Todo el mundo esperaba que el papa leyera ese mensaje antes de la misa.  
A
En absoluto.
B
No se sabe.
C
Así es.
Question 5
Cuando alguien dice  'mea culpa'...      
A
está expresando sus dudas sobre la veracidad de unos hechos.
B
está denunciando las injusticias que ha sufrido.
C
está mostrando arrepentimiento por una falta que ha cometido.
Question 6
El papa pidió fortaleza para combatir esos abusos.  
A
No se sabe.
B
Para nada.
C
Es verdad.
Question 7
En el texto se dice que el papa Francisco...  
A
duda que las familias tengan el poder de cambiar el mundo en el que vivimos.
B
hizo hincapié en el poder de las familias para cambiar las cosas.
C
no cree que las familias puedan hacer grandes cambios en el mundo.
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