Pope Francis: ‘I ask for your forgiveness’

The pontiff recently issued an apology over recent scandals, but did not specify to which he referred.

On Wednesday, Pope Francis issued a rare apology for recent scandals within the Catholic Church.

“Woe to the one who causes the scandal,” Francis said, quoting a scriptural passage during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square. The pontiff then asked for forgiveness.

“I would like to ask for forgiveness in the name of the church for the scandals that have happened in this last period, both in Rome and at the Vatican,” the pope said.

It was not clear which scandal(s) prompted the pope’s apology. The New York Times reported that a Vatican spokesman said the choice to remain vague was deliberate:

Asked about the pope’s public apology on Wednesday, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said Francis had deliberately not identified any one scandal, adding that if he had wanted to, he could have.

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