Pope Francis speaks of shame for Church and humanity as he marks Good Friday with the traditional Via Crucis or ''Way of the Cross'' procession around the Colosseum. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Pope Francis, presiding at a Good Friday service, asked God for forgiveness for scandals in the Catholic Church and for the "shame" of humanity becoming inured to daily scenes of bombed cities and drowning migrants. Francis presided at a traditional candlelight Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) service at Rome's Colosseum attended by some 20,000 people which was protected by heavy security following recent attacks in European cities. Francis sat while a large wooden cross was carried in procession, stopping 14 times to mark events in the last hours of Jesus' life from being sentenced to death to his burial. At the end of the two-hour service, Francis read a prayer he wrote that was woven around the theme of shame and hope. In what appeared to be a reference to the Church's sexual abuse scandal, he spoke of "shame for all the times that we bishops, priests, brothers and nuns scandalized and wounded your body, the Church." The Catholic Church has been struggling for nearly two decades to put the scandal of sexual abuse of children by clergy behind it. Critics say more must be done to punish bishops who covered up abuse or were negligent in preventing it. Francis also spoke of the shame he said should be felt over "the daily spilling of the innocent blood of women, of children, of immigrants," and for the fate of those who are persecuted because of their race, social status or religious beliefs. At the end of this month Francis travels to Egypt, which has seen a spate of attacks by Islamists on minority Coptic Christians. Dozens were killed in two attacks last Sunday.