Prosecutors in Sicily on Saturday opened an inquiry into Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for "illegal confinement, illegal arrest and abuse of power", reports said, over his refusal to allow over 100 rescued migrants off a coastguard ship. Authorities earlier allowed a dozen migrants to leave the Diciotti where they have been stranded for days, as it also hailed Albania for offering to accept some of those on board. Rome has blocked most of the migrants from stepping off the boat which docked at the port of Catania in Sicily on Monday night, leaving them trapped as Italy pushes other EU nations to take them in.
Pope Francis expressed "pain and shame" over the Catholic Church's failure to deal with abuse and met with eight victims during a visit to Ireland on Saturday where the prime minister pressed him to take action. Francis said the "failure of ecclesiastical authorities... adequately to address these repellent crimes has rightly given rise to outrage, and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community. "I myself share those sentiments," he said in a speech in Dublin Castle, speaking alongside Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.
On the first papal visit to the country in almost four decades, Francis used a speech at a state event that was also attended by some abuse survivors to acknowledge that it was to the Church's shame it had not addressed these "repugnant crimes" and said he sought a greater commitment to eliminating this "scourge". In a statement, the representatives from the Survivors of Mother and Baby Homes group said Francis condemned corruption and cover up within the Church as "caca", an Italian and Spanish word for human excrement. The statement said that after the pope used the word, his translator explained that it meant "literally filth as one sees in a toilet." A Vatican spokesman had no comment on the details of what was said in the meeting.
Pope Francis on Saturday met with eight Irish abuse victims after expressing "pain and shame" over the "failure" of Catholic Church authorities to deal with the abuses, the Vatican said. "Pope Francis met early Saturday evening for an hour and a half with eight survivors of clerical, religious and institutional abuse," Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement. The eight included a victim of Catholic priest Tony Walsh, who abused hundreds of children over a period of nearly two decades before he was finally cast out of the priesthood and imprisoned.
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Pope Francis vowed on Saturday to end the “repugnant” sexual exploitation of children by Catholic clergy as he made a highly charged visit to once-devout Ireland where years of reported abuse have driven many Irish away from the church. More than three-quarters of Ireland’s population flocked to see Pope John Paul II in 1979 when divorce and contraception there were illegal. Francis was greeted by far smaller numbers.