Here's the full transcript of what the Pope said about the Tuam memo he received
"She made me understand that the Church has something to do with this. For me, this was an example of constructive collaboration."
As previously reported, Pope Francis has been briefed regarding the 796 babies that were found dead in the mother-and-child home in Tuam, Co Galway.
Minister for Children Katherine Zappone made His Holiness aware of the ongoing investigation during a conversation that has been described as polite and respectful.
After departing Ireland following his recent visit, the pope gave an in-flight press conference to the assembled media and the Catholic News Agency have transcribed the relevant details regarding the Tuam investigation.
RTÉ journalist Tony Connelly was the person who asked Pope Francis about the meeting that he had with Minister Zappone. Mr Connelly asked two questions; "What exactly did she tell you? Were you shocked because it was the first time you had heard of these homes?"
Here's the transcript in full and the quotes that pertain to the Tuam investigation:
"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.”
"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."