Pope uses Good Friday service to ask for forgiveness for Catholic Church scandals
As part of the annual Good Friday tradition, the Pope gave a candlelit speech to some 20,000 people at the Colosseum in Rome, and this year he focused his speech on the "shame" of humanity today.
Covering topics from the abuse scandal within the church to the deaths caused by forced migration in Europe, Pope Francis gave a two-hour service before reading aloud from a prayer he wrote.
The Pope said:
"Also this year we return to you with our eyes lowered in shame and a heart full of hope. In shame for all the scenes of devastation, destruction, and drownings that have become ordinary in our lives."
"In shame for the daily spilling of the innocent blood of women, children, immigrants and persons who are persecuted for the colour of their skin or because of their ethnicity or social standing and social diversity for their faith in you. Shame for all the times that we bishops, priests, brothers and nuns scandalised and wounded your body, the Church."
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin made similar statements at the Good Friday event in the Phoenix Park.
Archbishop Martin said:
"Scandals within the Church, bitterness and division, empty ritual, a false clerical culture of superiority, judgementalism of people who Jesus would have welcomed, have all contributed to darkening the possibility of many to recognise the true Jesus."
"Pope Francis constantly warns of the danger of a Church which is just inward looking, protective of its institution, arrogant rather than merciful."