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Why Pope Francis apologized for clergy’s sex abuse scandals



Pope Francis apologizes for clergy's sex abuse scandals


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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Miguna Miguna, Dallas-Based Promoter Clash over ‘Stolen’ $20,000 Raised During His US Tour



National Resistance Movement self-declared general Miguna Miguna is accusing a group of Kenyan promoters based in Dallas, Texas of stealing $20,000  from him during his tour to popularize NRM in the US city.

Miguna toured Dallas on March 10th, where he held meetings with Kenyan diaspora community and wooed them to support his NRM agenda.

His visit was organized by a Kenyan promoter, Steve Aseno, who among others; booked the meeting hall and arranged for Miguna’s flight.

The former Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant delivered a speech to his followers in Dallas, which was followed by a fundraiser to raise cash to help him foot legal bills and fix the damaged doors, which were broken by police during his arrest at his Runda home.

Miguna now claims that Aseno swindled $20,000 raised from the Dallas meeting. He said the Kenyan promoter declined to give him the whole amount donated during the fund drive.

Aseno has denied the claims, stating that he even suffered a loss of more than $1,000 from the event.

The promoter said the event flopped after Miguna launched attacks on National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga over his unity pact with President Kenyatta, days before coming to Dallas.

Aseno said that several of Odinga’s supporters who had confirmed their attendance pulled out after Miguna’s attack on Odinga. Only 114 guests attended. Guests were charged $20 to enter the hall, $10 to take a photo with Miguna and $50 for an unframed photo of Raila.

“Because of Miguna running his mouth, he did not sell a single portrait and the donations became very few to the extent that most supplied had to take a cut for the sake of Miguna,” Aseno stated.

Miguna received $1,195 from the fundraiser and Sh$150 from the photos. Aseno has challenged Miguna to “use logic and explain where the figure of $20,000 came from.”

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VIDEO: Did you miss Njoki wa Ndegwa’s funeral in Kenya? Watch it here



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PHOTOS: Kenyan woman who died in Atlanta buried



Phoebe Silantoi Hickman,  a Kenyan woman who died last week after a short illness was buried on Saturday afternoon, 10th march 2018 at  Liberty Hill Cemetery Acworth, Georgia.

Earlier, a memorial service was held at North Star Church (3413 Blue Springs Rd, Kennesaw, GA 30144) starting at 1pm.

Ms Hickman was the wife to John Hickman, mother to feneitz Somoina and sister to Jonathan Mututua.

Saturday, family and friends braved chilly and rainy weather to pay their last respects and bid farewell to the deceased.

“Thank you KIG for coming out to escort our sister. The rain did not stop us from showing solidarity with one of us. Asanteni sana,” said Ms Christine Muchene in a social media posting shortly after the burial.

See photos below courtesy of Ms Muchene:


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