Pope Francis, met a small group of victims of sexual abuse by the clergy after lunch on Tuesday in the Apostolic Nunciature in Santiago.
The Director of the Vatican Press Office, Greg Burke, said in a statement that the meeting was strictly private. No one else was present only the Pope and the victims. This was so they could tell their sufferings to Pope Francis, who listened to them and prayed and cried with them.
The statement went on to say that Pope Francis expressed his sorrow for this drama that also involves the Chilean Church.Just Tuesday morning in his speech to the authorities at the Palazzo della Moneda, the Pope spoke of the “need to listen to children, who face the world with their eyes full of wonder and innocence and await from us real answers for a future of dignity, here I cannot help but express the pain and shame, that I feel at the irreparable damage caused to children by ministers of the Church. I would like to join my brothers in the episcopate, because it is right to ask forgiveness and support the victims with all their strength, while we must commit ourselves to ensuring that this does not happen again “.
During his encounter with priests, religious, and seminarians at Santiago Cathedral on Tuesday evening the Holy Father particularly spoke about the “pain resulting from cases of abuse of minors” in the Church of Chile, which he said cause harm and sufferings to the victims and their families, to ecclesial communities and also to priests and religious themselves.