Pope Francis vows to 'study a memo' on the Tuam mother-and-baby home
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Pope Francis vows to 'study a memo' on the Tuam mother-and-baby home

IN an interview following his visit to Ireland last weekend, Pope Francis revealed that he received a memo about the mother and baby homes in Tuam.

796 children were found buried in a septic tank at the site of the former Catholic care home.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone informed the pontiff of the ongoing investigation into the incident in what was described as a "polite and respectful" exchange.

On his flight back to Rome, Pope Francis was interviewed by several journalists including RTE reporter Tony Connelly who questioned the Church leader about the conversation with Ms Zappone.

The full transcript of the Pope's answer to the question has been released.

It reads: "The minister first told me something that didn’t have too much to do with mother and children (Editor’s note: mother and baby homes). She told me, and she was brief: “Holy Father, we found mass graves of children, buried children, we’re investigating… and the Church has something to do with this.”

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"But she said it very politely and truly with a lot of respect. I thanked her to the point that this had touched my heart. And, this is why I wanted to repeat it in the speech…  and it was not at the airport, I was mistaken, it was at the president’s. At the airport, there was another lady minister and I made the mistake there."

"But, she told me, “I’ll send you a memo.” She sent me a memo and I haven’t been able to read it yet. I saw it was a memo, that she sent me a memo. She was very balanced in telling me, “There’s an issue, the investigation has not yet finished.” But, she made me understand that the Church has something to do with this.

"For me, this was an example of constructive collaboration, but also of, I don’t want to say the word “protest” … of complaint, of complaint for that which at one time maybe the Church was of help to do. That lady had a dignity that touched my heart, and now I have the memo there that I will study when I get home."

During his visit, Pope Francis met eight survivors of clerical abuse at the Papal Nuncio's residence for over 90 minutes.

On Sunday, Pope Francis asked for forgiveness for abuses carried out by members of the Catholic Church during his public mass at the Phoenix Park: "We ask pardon for all the abuses committed in various types of institutions run by male or female religious and by other members of the church."