Pope Francis in Angelus at Knock on sexual abuse: I beg Lord's forgiveness for these sins and betrayal

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After a busy day in Dublin, Pope Francis arrived in Knock for his visit to the Apparition Chapel. The drizzling rain had no effect on the enthusiasm of the thousands who gathered, as they waved flags and cheered the Holy Father on along his way in the popemobile. 

This bell-ringing ceremony turned the atmosphere from a festive one to a solemn one as Pope Francis entered the chapel. 

The Holy Father placed a bouquet of flowers on the statue of the Blessed Mother before lighting a candle and pausing for a few moments to pray before the shrine. The pope then presented the sanctuary with a golden rosary to mark his visit. 

Later, Pope Francis returned to the plaza outside to pray the Sunday Angelus with the Irish faithful. Through Mary's intercession, the pope asked for the sustenance of the country's Christian community, making special mention of victims of sexual abuse. 

“May Our Lady also look with mercy on all the suffering members of her Son’s family. In my prayer before her statue, I presented to her in particular all the victims of abuse of whatever kind committed by members of the Church in Ireland.”

The Holy Father then explained the Church's duty of reconciliation and reparation going forward. 

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

In Dublin a day before, Pope Francis met with eight victims of sexual abuse for around 90 minutes. 

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