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Pope asks forgiveness for Church sex abusers

Pope Francis at the Vatican.
Pope Francis at the Vatican. Credit: ABACA

Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness for priests who molested children in some of his strongest words ever on the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis.

"I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests [...] to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children," he told members of a children's' rights group, according to Vatican Radio.

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Cardinal Nichols: 'Time to stop trade in human life'

Instrumental in organising the human trafficking and slavery conference was Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Like Pope Francis he wants the voices of victims to be heard more clearly.

When the conference was over, ITV News' Julie Etchingham asked the Cardinal to assess the impact of the Pope's message that trafficking was a crime against humanity:

Read: Pope calls human trafficking 'a crime against humanity'

Read: Pope tells ITV News human trafficking is 'crime against humanity'

Human trafficking victim: I was absolutely lost

Human trafficking is a booming business in Britain, with 47 people prosecuted for the offence last year alone.

ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner speaks to a female victim who was forced to have sex with men by her captors, and the detective who arrested the couple she managed to flee from.

Read: Police officers, religious leaders and politicians converge on Vatican for conference on ending human trafficking

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Pope Francis gives Queen a gift for Prince George

The Queen exchanged gifts with Pope Francis at the Vatican today, with the head of the Catholic Church giving Her Majesty an ornamental orb for her great-grandson, Prince George.

"He will be thrilled with that - when he is a little older!", the Queen joked.

The gifts presented to the Queen, including an ornamental orb for Prince George and a set of papal medals for the Duke of Edinburgh Credit: Vatican TV

Pope Francis also gave the Duke of Edinburgh a set of papal medals, prompting the Duke to joke that it was "the only gold medal I have ever won".

Prince Philip shows Pope Francis a bottle of whisky from the royal estate at Balmoral Credit: Vatican TV

The Queen gave the pontiff a selection of British produce from the royal estates, including a bottle of whiskey from Balmoral and honey from Buckingham Palace.

The Queen presents a selection of British produce to Pope Francis Credit: Vatican TV
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