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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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: Two Kenyan men, Kamau and Mwaura, tie the knot in US

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Two Kenyan men have said “I do” in the United States.

Benson Kamau and James Mwaura tied the knot at a gay wedding ceremony in Chicago, Illinois, this past weekend.

According to Mwakilishi.com, as US based news website, Kamau and Mwaura are both natives of Kenya.

Sam-sex marriage has been legal in Illinois since June 1, 2014 after Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill legalizing such marriages on November 20, 2013.

This is not the first time that a Kenyan man has entered into matrimonial union with another man in the US, In 2016, Mr Ben Gitau, 33, and Mr Steve Damelin got married at Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In a related development in February, 2018, a self proclaimed Kenyan Lesbian married an American woman in a low key ceremony held in Dallas, Texas, USA.

Manuella Mumbi tied the knot with her American lover,  Lisa Webb Clay.

Mumbi, one of the few Kenyan women who have boldly come out to declare that they are lesbians, was born and raised in Kahawa, Kiambu County and recently relocated to the US to live with her better half before their wedding.

Webb Clay is an American model who hails from Texas. She reportedly invited Mumbi to the US to formalize their engagement.

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RELATED: Kenyan woman marries her lesbian lover in US

Last week, the Court of Appeal in Kenya granted gays and lesbians the freedom to register their own umbrella lobby.

In a judgment delivered on Friday, a majority decision of the Court of Appeal held that human beings should not be denied their fundamental rights because of how they choose to live their lives.

This position was taken by judges Philip Waki, Asike Makhandia and Martha Koome while affirming the decision of the High Court.

Here are some photos from last weekend’s ceremony:

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Blind 70-year-old Kenyan living in US pleads for help to return home – VIDEO

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Kenyans living in the diaspora have formed a WhatsApp group to try and help an elderly Kenyan man living in the United States to return home.

In a message shared in the Diaspora Messenger, a website that connects and updates the East African community abroad, the Kenyans have appealed to well-wishers to help Mr William Mwangi Kagwima, who is aged 70.

“One of our Kenyan brother, migrated to Worcester MA, in 1998. Like every other immigrant, he worked hard until last year when he started losing his eye sight and could not work anymore. He has endured severe hardship and has exhausted his savings. Mr Kagwima is requesting the community to send him back home to his family,” the notice reads in part.

They also shared a short video clip of Mr Kagwima speaking in Gikuyu and explaining how he ended up to be where he is today.s

source:nairobinews

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VIDEO: US-based Kenyan man reunites with daughter he never knew he had after 43 years

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A 67 year old US based Kenyan man who fathered a girl some 43 years ago has been reunited with his daughter.

It was an emotional reunion between father and daughter in Nairobi. Judy Wangui, having never met her dad is now married with two children.

According to K24, Peter Muriu met Mary Wangui, his Class eight sweetheart while he was in Form Three. As fate would have it, the man relocated to the United States. Little did he know that he had left an offspring.

Fast forward, 43 years later, the man traveled to Kenya after getting wind that a woman who looked exactly like him had been spotted.

“As I was roaming here and there, someone told me someone who was your girl back in the day got a baby who looks like you,” he said during an interview conducted on the fridges of the reunion party in Runda, Nairobi.

Innitially, Muriu toyed with the idea of conducting a DNA test.

“But I said before making a decision, I am going to see the girl. After seeing her, I said, Oh Lord, no need for a DNA here.”

The daughter was equally elated.

“Nimefurahi kumuona babangu maanake tangu nizaliwe sijawahi kuitana baba,” said Wangui.

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Her mother, Mary Wambui, whose marriage unfortunately did not work out said all her children are very happy and have accepted him as their father.

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