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Why Pope Francis apologized for clergy’s sex abuse scandals

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Pope Francis apologizes for clergy's sex abuse scandals

By ALLAN TAWAI

Pope Francis has admitted his “pain and shame” over the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy on a visit to Chile which has been overshadowed by the firebombing of nine churches – allegedly by activists claiming a high-level cover-up.

“I cannot begin to express the pain and shame that I feel over the irreparable harm caused to children by some ministers of the church,” the 81-year-old pope said.

“I would like to join with my brothers in the episcopate, because if it is right to ask for forgiveness and to support the victims with strength, we must at the same time commit ourselves to make sure that this does not happen again,” he added.

The pontiff made his comments when he visited President Michelle Bachelet’s official Moneda Palace residence, drawing applause from pilgrims watching on giant screens in a Santiago park where he later celebrated an open-air mass for 400,000 people.

Nevertheless Francis did not receive a universal welcome, with fracases breaking out between riot police and demonstrators in the vicinity of O’Higgins Park.

Police used armored vehicles to fire water cannons at the demonstrators and arrested several people, bundling them into vans.

Many of the demonstrators chanted “paedophile accomplices” as they approached the park.

A man dressed as the pope and two other people dressed as nuns unfolded a banner from the balcony of a nearby building that read: “Francis, accomplice of paedophile crimes.”

Francis’ visit, his first to Chile as pope, has been overshadowed by a report outlining the depth of sexual abuse in the local church, and his appointment of a bishop who many here believe covered up the country’s most prominent sex abuse scandal.

The US-based NGO Bishop Accountability said ahead of the visit that almost 80 Roman Catholic clergy members had been accused of sexually abusing children in Chile since 2000.

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

“We need concrete actions that the pope has not taken with the Chilean church,” said Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for a lay association in the southern city of Osorno.

Claret’s group is demanding Francis remove Osorno bishop Juan Barros, whom he appointed in 2015, despite Barros’ ties to a disgraced paedophile priest Fernando Karadima.

The pope later told representatives of Chile’s clergy at a packed Santiago cathedral that he was “attentive to what you are doing to respond to this great and painful evil.”

It was painful for the victims and their families, he told them, but painful also for them.

“I know that at times you have been insulted in the metro or walking in the street, and that by going around in clerical attire in many places you pay a heavy price.”

In his sermon at the mass, where the congregation included Mapuche women in traditional dress, Pope called for the rights and culture of indigenous people to be respected, so they could be treated as “a worthy child of this country.”

Earlier, he said in his speech to officials that indigenous peoples “can make a great contribution” to the environmental protection of the planet.

“We can learn from them that there is no true development in a population that turns its back on the earth and everyone and everything around it,” he said.

However, there was no specific mention of the Mapuche, with whom the pope is scheduled to meet Wednesday during a visit to Temuco, over 600 kilometers south of the capital Santiago.

Three Catholic churches were vandalized on Tuesday, including one in the Araucania region, where most of the Mapuche people live.

In a first for Francis, he visited a women’s prison, telling inmates at Santiago’s San Joaquin Female Penitentiary that “losing our freedom does not mean losing our dreams and hopes.”

About 100 inmates welcomed him with songs and excited applause, some of them with their small children.

“We need to reject all those petty clichés that tell us we can’t change, that it’s not worth trying. That nothing will make a difference. No dear Sisters! Some things do make a difference,” Francis said.

A jail sentence must offer opportunities for personal growth, he said.

“Public order must not be reduced to stronger security measures, but should be concerned primarily with preventive measures, such as work, education, and greater community involvement.”

 

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Diaspora

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Atlanta based Kenyan woman in dire need of help

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BY CIRU GIKANGA

I am reaching out to all of you because I urgently need your help. In the many years we’ve not seen each other the Rheumatoid Arthritis has taken over and deformed most of my joints. I have put up this video to explain what help I need and why. Please watch to the end.

Here’s the brief part that sounds off in the beginning: “My name is Christine Ciru Gikanga and l have have been suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis for 29 yrs going to clock 30 yrs in September 2018, having been diagnosed back in 1988 while in my 2nd yr in high school. Here is the GOFUNDME LINK

Watch the video below:

Attached are the pictures showing the progression of the disease: 1st picture was taken in 1999:

 

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Africa

US warns Kenyans over fake marriages, says they won’t be allowed to fly out

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The US embassy in Nairobi on Monday issued a warning to Kenyans getting duped into fake marriages to acquire a visa.

Through their official social media pages, the embassy advised caution in the event somebody offers to get you a green card using dubious means.

“Has anyone ever told you they can get a green card for you? Don’t believe them! They are lying and just trying to steal your money. Don’t believe them when they say you can have a fake marriage and still get your green card.

“If you apply with a fake marriage, you will get caught and you will not get your green card. You will become permanently ineligible to ever go to the United States, and you will never be able to get a U.S. visa or a green card,” the embassy warned.

Visa denied FILE/PHOTO

Kenyans were further urged to apply for a visa or the green card lottery by themselves.

The statement conveyed: “You don’t need to use a fixer to apply for the diversity visa or green card lottery. You can do it yourself and pay the required fee.”

The embassy stated that one should only apply through the Embassy’s official website.

“If you know about anyone promising they can get a green card for you if you enter into a fake marriage, go to the police and report them. You should also report them to the U.S. Embassy,” the statement concluded.

Earlier last week, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec announced that the United States government was gearing up to fight fake news in Kenya adding that it had eroded confidence in Kenya’s real news media.

Speaking during an interview, Godec stated: “Fake news is being weaponized. It’s undermining democracy in Kenya.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta with US Secretary of Transport Anthony Foxx (C) and Ambassador Robert Godec when he led a US business delegation to State House, Nairobi on June 25, 2015. PHOTO | PSCU

He further remarked: “We’re not asking them to believe any particular thing. We’re just urging people not to take everything they see on their phone via WhatsApp as the truth because it may not be.”

Source -Kenyans.co.ke

 

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Business

Kenyan women in US gather in Atlanta this weekend for third KWITU reunion

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KWITU, a group of Kenyan women living in the USA are in Atlanta starting August 2nd to August 4th for the 3rd Annual Grand Reunion. The reunion is the largest gathering of Kenyan Women Living in the USA.

The theme this year is; “Unity and Integrity among the Kenyans Living in the Diaspora.” The line up and details of the three-day event are as follows:

August 2nd Karibu Night: ‪Thursday the 2nd of August will be “Karibu Night”.

Guests will have a meet and greet in a lounge, to welcome all who will be arriving from all corners of the USA and Canada! Karibu Night will be at: La Pura Vida 1995 Windy Hill Road Smyrna GA 30080

Networking & Panel Sessions:

Friday the 3rd, will be the networking and panel sessions.

There will be a keynote speaker and panels of speakers. Discussions will include issues affecting our Kenyan Community here in the USA, among others.

Hors D’oeuvres will be served on Friday. The topics of discussion on Friday includes:

1. Single Parenthood

2. Drug Addiction

3. Mental illness & Suicide

4. Domestic Violence

5. Access to education

6. Women in Business August

4th – Grand Gala: Saturday will be the Grand Gala event. There will be entertainment, a three-course dinner, keynote speaker and various presentations. KWITU – Women uplifting one another!

According to the group’s mission statement posted on its website, KWITU aims to provide Kenyan women in the USA the sense of empowerment and see them soar to the heights of success. “As an organization, we aim to eradicate the factors holding back Kenyan women. By alleviating their difficulties, it’s possible to make Kenyan women realize the true potential that lies within them,” adds the statement.

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