Pope Francis asked for forgiveness on Wednesday for scandals at the Vatican and in Rome, an apparent reference to two cases of priests and gay sex revealed this month during a major meeting of bishops.
“Today … in the name of the Church, I ask you for forgiveness for the scandals that have occurred recently either in Rome or in the Vatican,” Francis said in unprepared remarks during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
“I ask you for forgiveness,” he said before tens of thousands of people, who broke into applause. The pope then read his prepared address and did not elaborate.
Asked about the comments, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi could not say which scandals the pope had in mind but said Francis wanted to reach out to ordinary people who are “disturbed or pained” when they read about scandals caused by “the Church or men of the Church”.