Connect with us

Diaspora

Why Pope Francis apologized for clergy’s sex abuse scandals

Published

on

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.

READ ALSO:   Michelle Obama takes 'most admired woman' in the US title from Hillary Clinton

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.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Pope Francis avoids kisses to his ring

“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.”

READ ALSO:   The Pope ordered Kenyan archbishop to give away Sh4m SUV donated by Ruto, says Raila

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.”

 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Diaspora

E-passport centres launched in six countries to serve diaspora

Published

on

The government has launched e-passport centres in six countries to serve Kenyans in the diaspora.

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma  said the service will initially be available in Kenyan embassies in Pretoria, London, Paris, Dubai, Washington and Beijing before being expanded to other countries.

“We mounted the e-passport infrastructure last week. Kenyans are encouraged to get in touch with the missions for modalities of this process,” she said on Friday.

The launch of the centres means that Kenyans living abroad will no longer have to travel back home to apply.

Presidential directive

Run by the Immigration department, portals will be available on each Kenyan mission’s website, directing applicants on the procedure to follow.

Kenyans in diaspora had complained of lack of service despite a directive by President Kenyatta that the passports be issued in their countries of residence.

The foreign ministry said the Immigration department had been setting up the tools required for deployment of personnel.

Initially, embassies had required Kenyans to register their presence on the portals to help provide the numbers and influence decision on setting up centres.

Immigration service

The Immigration department had said it would start with North America, the Middle East and South Africa before moving to other regions.

READ ALSO:   The Pope ordered Kenyan archbishop to give away Sh4m SUV donated by Ruto, says Raila

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs manages diplomatic missions abroad but issuance of passports is a responsibility of the Immigration department. This means the department will have to send attaches to the embassies to provide the services.

While in Namibia in March, President Kenyatta directed that Kenyans living abroad be issued with the new generation passports in their countries of residence.

source:Daily Nation

Continue Reading

Diaspora

Kenyan MP wanted by US authorities for escaping jail term over tax evasion

Published

on

A Member of Parliament who is serving his first term is a wanted man in the US.

Nation has established that Fafi MP Abdikarim Osman Mohamed is on the radar of US authorities over a crime he was sentenced for in 2015.

US media reported that in 2015, the lawmaker was sentenced to 18 months in jail over tax evasion.

He had been charged with 32 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns totaling Ksh61 million.

According to reports, the Criminal Investigation Unit of the US Internal Revenue Service, conducted three undercover operations to catch the MP red-handed.

Planted spies posed as clients who wanted to consult Mohamed and have him prepare their Federal Income Tax Returns for 2007.

He prepared the documents but for each of the spies he was consulting for, he falsely reduced the tax due, resulting in fraudulent tax returns.

After he was arrested, Mohammed entered into a plea bargain with the prosecutors and implicated his accomplice, Yahya Sheikh, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Nation also established that due to fear being arrested, the MP turned down an opportunity to travel to the US with the National Assembly Energy Committee in April 2019.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Pope Francis avoids kisses to his ring

The daily’s efforts at reaching the legislator were futile as he was said to be in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland attending some national celebrations.

Fafi MP Abdikarim Osman Mohamed speaking during a forum in Garissa County on 09/02/19

SOURCE-Kenyans.co.ke

Continue Reading

Diaspora

VIDEO: Amb Githae cautions Kenyans in US against DUI, Domestic violence

The Kenyan ambassador to the United States, Robinson Njeru Githae, has cautioned Kenyans living in the United States against breaking the laws of the host country.

Published

on

BY BMJ MURIITHI

Mr Githae singled out Driving Under the influence (DUI) which he said was common among Kenyans in some US cities.

“Refrain from drunk driving….Hapa mkono wa sheria ukikupata umekupata (the arm of the law here is very effective),” he said recently when he addressed attendees of this year’s Atlanta Majuu Cultural festival held in Atlanta, Georgia.

He also warned against domestic violence noting that such acts are taken very seriously by law enforcers in the US.

“Whatever you do, don’t break the laws of your host country. Ni vizuri kuacha tabia zingine (let us discard some of these habits)” he added.

In recent years, cases of Kenyans who have been arrested for DUI which have sometimes led to the discovery of other previous crimes and misdemeanors have been on the rise, at a time when the the US Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agency has stepped up its enforcement and eventual deportations.

For drivers 21 years or older in most US States, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is illegal. For drivers under 21 years old, the legal limit is lower, with state limits ranging from 0.00 to 0.02.

READ ALSO:   Michelle Obama takes 'most admired woman' in the US title from Hillary Clinton

Lower BAC limits apply when operating boats, airplanes, or commercial vehicles. Among other names, the criminal offense of drunk driving may be called DUI, driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI), operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OVI), or operating while impaired (OWI).

The penalties for drunk driving vary among states and jurisdictions. It is not uncommon for the penalties to be different from county to county within any given state depending on the practices of the individual jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions require jail time and larger fines, even on a first offense.

For instance, Ohio requires a mandatory 72-hour jail sentence for a first offense conviction; however, the jail time component is satisfied by attendance of the Ohio A.W.A.R.E. Program, which is a 72-hour alcohol-education program.

For the most part, DUI or DWI are synonymous terms that represent the criminal offense of operating (or in some jurisdictions merely being in physical control of) a motor vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of both.

There have also been instances where spouses have engaged in domestic violence with most of them ending up in jail or even facing deportation.

Githae commended the organisers of the festival, led by Rev Dr GG Gitahi of Kenyan American Community Church.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Pope Francis avoids kisses to his ring

Thousands of people, including renowned Kenyan gospel artistes, graced the annual event which – for the first time in the five years it has been running -was held at the Cobb County Civic Center in the heart of Marietta, Georgia.

The envoy, who has since been named as the new ambassador to Austria, promised to help make the event bigger and better.

“This is very impressive and we should not stop here. We are going to make sure that other communities in the US participate next year,” he said.

[The video will post here as soon as the processing is done. Check back soon]

In the meantime, enjoy the photos courtesy of David King’ang’i of DKK Photography:

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DKK PHOTOGRAPHY

Continue Reading

Trending

error: Content is protected !!