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Pope Francis in Ireland. Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

Pope Francis met privately with victims of clerical abuse during his first visit to Ireland this weekend, begging for forgiveness for the Church's sins amid massive outcry over its mounting scandals, reports the AP.

Driving the news: In step with his Ireland visit, Archbishop Carlo Vigano, a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., has accused Francis of knowing about allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013 and has called on him to resign, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

  • Vigano claims that Pope Benedict XVI had leveled unannounced sanctions against McCarrick in 2009 or 2010, which prevented him from celebrating Mass publicly or traveling. Vigano says he told Francis about the allegations in 2013, three months after he was elected pope, but that Francis ignored them and made McCarrick "free from all constraints."
  • Worth noting: Vigano provided no evidence that there was a formal reversal of the sanctions and has himself been accused of covering up sexual abuse allegations, per NCR.

The big picture: Separate from the sexual abuse scandals roiling the Church across the rest of the globe, Ireland has a history of forced adoptions pushed by the Church that saw newborns taken away from unwed mothers. Francis' visit to Ireland was intended to coincide with the World Meeting of Families, a global gathering of the Catholic Church, but it has been largely overshadowed by demands that he address the Church's worldwide issues.

"None of us can fail to be moved by the stories of young people who suffered abuse, were robbed of their innocence or taken away from their mothers, abandoned and left scarred by painful memories. ... This open wound challenges us to be firm and decisive in the pursuit of truth and justice."
— Pope Francis' sermon in Knock, Ireland on Sunday

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.