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Pope Francis sorry for upsetting abuse victims

January 22, 2018 4:21 pm

Pope Francis has apologised for remarks he made last week in Chile defending a bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse.

He said he realised his words hurt many, but repeated his belief that Chilean Bishop Juan Barros was innocent.

The pontiff was speaking to journalists on board a plane flying back to Rome.

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Last week, he had said that victims who had accused Bishop Barros were committing slander.

The Pope was openly criticised by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who said he left victims of sexual abuse committed by priests feeling abandoned.

“I apologise to them if I hurt them without realising it, but it was a wound that I inflicted without meaning to,” said the Pope on Monday, as quoted by Reuters news agency. “It pains me very much.”

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