Chile: Pope meets with victims of sex abuse

Chile: Pope meets with victims of sex abuse

During his first public address of the tour Francis begged forgiveness and said he feels "pain and shame" over the sex abuse scandal.

After Mass, Pope Francis was to head to the motherhouse for the Sisters of the Holy Cross order, where he will eat lunch with around 11 people, eight of whom will be Mapuche. Francis, a native of neighboring Argentina and the first pope from Latin America, has shown strong support for indigenous peoples during visits in other countries. Such pamphlets have been found at a handful of the churches most recently burned. Some of those present at the Mass traveled the almost 2,300 miles from Easter Island.

A recent Latinobarometro survey said the crisis triggered a sharp drop in the number of Chileans who consider themselves Catholic, as well as a decline in confidence in the church as an institution. A green truck represented the truck that St. Alberto Hurtado used to drive around the community to help the poor.

"We offer this celebration for all those who suffered and died, and for all those who each day carry on their shoulders the burden of so much injustice", the Pope said.

The tensions are also evident on social media, where people in both countries have expressed both excitement and discontent with the Pope's' visit.

"Those faces awaken God's visceral love".

Indigenous communities of south-central Chile have long accused the state and private companies of taking their ancestral land, stripping it of natural resources and using heavy-handed enforcement against their communities. They continue to "get up again after so many falls".

"The fact that he spoke there means that it is an evil not only for the church but for society", Burke said.

Pope Francis is telling Chile's priests that sexual abuse of children not only has caused pain to the victims but also to the priests who have been held collectively responsible for the crimes of a few.

For victims, the pope's request for forgiveness did not go far enough.

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Many Chileans are still furious over his 2015 decision to appoint a bishop close to the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a priest found guilty by the Vatican in 2011 of abusing dozens of minors over decades.

Veronica Ruiz, an Argentine living in Chile, was on a packed train with her brother, daughter and son-in-law.

Among other stops in Peru, Francis is scheduled to meet with Amazonian indigenous representatives in the city of Puerto Maldonado, in Peru's southeastern Madre de Dios region, a gateway to the Peruvian Amazon.

Francis was visibly relaxed talking to the youth, injecting passion to his words, often looking up from his prepared remarks to lead the youth in prayer, or to pointedly question them.

"We have been Catholics all our lives, and to see the pope fills us with energy".

At O'Higgins Park, people from all over Chile arrived by bus hours before the Mass. Police on horseback kept pilgrims orderly.

Pope Francis reportedly will devote his message for the 2018 World Communications Day later this month to the topic of "fake news", calling for greater respect for the truth among journalists. The government estimates that 3095 were killed, including about 1200 who were forcibly disappeared. Melgarejo told Express that they want Francis to see "the real image of Chile".

"We call it a golden retreat", Cruz said. Without a good relationship with Jesus, we can become frustrated and annoyed, even starting to believe that nothing really matters or that nothing we do makes a difference.

Contributing to this story was Jane Chambers in Santiago.