by Deborah Castellano Lubov
Pope Francis alone met privately with several victims of sexual abuse by clergy on Tuesday evening, Jan. 17, 2018, at the Apostolic Nunciature in Santiago, Chile, reported Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, in a brief statement.
The Vatican spokesman also noted that the Pope “prayed and cried with them after hearing their experiences.”
Pope Francis is making his 22nd Apostolic Visit abroad, to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22, 2018.
In his first speech in the country, speaking to the nation’s authorities, Pope Francis expressed his “pain and shame’” for the “irreparable damage” caused to children by some priests in the Church.
In Chile, a country that has been scarred by the abuses that have caused tension and protests even up to and during the visit, Pope Francis asked forgiveness for these acts and appealed that “every effort” be done to help victims and to ensure that “such things do not happen again.”