SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Pope Francis begged for forgiveness Tuesday (Jan. 16) for the “irreparable damage” done to children who were raped and molested by priests, opening his visit to Chile by diving head-first into a scandal that has greatly hurt the Catholic Church’s credibility here and cast a cloud over his visit.

Speaking to Chile’s president, lawmakers, judges and other authorities, Francis said he felt “bound to express my pain and shame” that some of Chile’s pastors had sexually abused children in their care. He was interrupted by applause from the dignitaries at La Moneda palace when he pronounced the

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