The Holy Father also begged "the Lord’s forgiveness for these sins" of the abuse scandal.
Prior to celebrating Mass in Dublin on Sunday, Pope Francis made a short visit to Knock, Ireland, the site of an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the night of August 21, 1879. The visit attracted a large crowd of 45,000 people at the shrine, where Pope Francis returned again in his address to the sexual abuse crisis in the Church.
The Holy Father said, “I beg the Lord’s forgiveness for these sins and for the scandal and betrayal felt by so many others in God’s family. I ask our Blessed Mother to intercede for the healing of the survivors and to confirm every member of our Christian family in the resolve never again to permit these situations to occur.”
He continued by saying this “open wound challenges us to be firm and decisive in the pursuit of truth and justice.”
Pope Francis invoked the Blessed Virgin Mary’s protection over all families, praying, “Amid the storms and winds that buffet our times, may they be a bulwark of faith and goodness, resisting, in the best traditions of this nation, all that would diminish our dignity as men and women created in God’s image and called to the sublime destiny of eternal life.”
Yesterday Pope Francis visited privately with eight abuse survivors in Dublin, hearing their stories and relating to them his own frustration with the problem.
In memory of his visit to Knock, Pope Francis brought along with him a special rosary, saying, “I know how important the tradition of the family rosary has been in this country. Who can tell how many hearts, of fathers, mothers and children alike, have drawn comfort and strength over the years from meditating on Our Lady’s participation in the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of Christ’s life!”
After praying the Angelus with those present, Pope Francis left to board a plane back to Dublin to prepare for Mass later this afternoon.