Pope Francis has apologised for cases of sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic Church, saying he felt “pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the church’’.
Francis said: “I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims.
“Although, we have committed ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again.’’
He was speaking before Chilean dignitaries in Santiago de Chile.
Earlier this week, the Vatican took over a Peru-based Catholic sect whose founder has been accused of sexual and psychological abuse.
Meanwhile, in Chile during the pope’s visit on Monday, activists promised to protest every day of the visit over his 2015 appointment of a bishop accused of covering up for one of the country’s most notorious pedophiles.
On Jan. 10, the Vatican said it had appointed a commissioner to oversee the lay Catholic movement Sodalitium of Christian Life.
However, Peruvian prosecutors had announced they were seeking the arrest on charges of sexual, physical and psychological abuse, of the group’s founder, Luis Fernando Figari, and five other members.
Meanwhile, the Pope had shown particular attention to the gravity of the information.
The pontiff would return to the Vatican on Sunday.