Pope says church shamed by ‘repugnant’ Irish abuse

26 August, 2018, 14:04 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Derry MEP to meet with Pope Francis during his visit to Ireland this weekend

However, he failed to specifically mention the current scandal raging over a U.S. grand jury report documenting at least 1,000 cases of clerical pedophilia.

"The failure of ecclesiastical authorities-bishops, religious superiors, priests and others-adequately to address these repellent crimes has rightly given rise to outrage", the pope told Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and other dignitaries gathered in Dublin Castle on Saturday. "But I think it would be wrong to say that this is a post-Catholic country", he said. "It is a story all too tragically familiar here in Ireland".

The women, many of them detained in Ireland's notorious Magdalene Laundries, were told it was a "mortal sin" to contact their children.

The Pope is expected to meet later with some Irish victims of clerical sexual predators.

"It's a good crowd, but wouldn't be near what you'd get for (Saint) Patrick's Day", said Christy Moore, 59, referring to Ireland's national holiday as he sold papal flags wearing an "I love Pope Francis" hat. "He didn't offer any concrete new plan of action, including over the vexed issue of accountability for the cover-up of abuse crimes".

The pope later held an hour and a half meeting with victims of abuse at the hands of clergy or in Church-run institutions, including Marie Collins, who was, at the age of 13, abused by a priest while being treated in a hospital in Dublin.

Pope Francis has arrived in Ireland for the first papal visit to the country in nearly four decades.

Contraception, homosexuality, divorce and, most recently, abortion are now legal while Mass attendance has dropped dramatically.

They said Francis described the corruption and coverup in the church as "caca" - translated by the Vatican translator for the English speakers as "filth as one sees in the toilet".

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The pope will travel on Sunday to Knock, a small western village steeped in Catholicism that welcomes 1.5 million pilgrims a year, before finishing his trip by saying mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park, where a large cross erected for the 1979 visit still dominates the skyline. During his visit he will have private meetings with victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

"Significant quantities" of baby remains found in makeshift graves at the site of one such home in Tuam past year shocked the country.

A Vatican spokesman had no comment on the details of what was said in the meeting.

It would be one "in which religion is no longer at the centre of our society, but in which it still has an important place", he said.

Since then, patterns of widespread abuse of children have been reported across the United States and Europe, in Chile and Australia, undercutting the Church's moral authority and taking a toll on its membership and coffers.

He was one of the highest-ranking church officials accused of sex abuse in a scandal that has rocked the 1.2 billion-member faith since reports of priests abusing children and bishops covering up for them were first reported by the Boston Globe in 2002.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all", the grand jury wrote.

Francis also mentioned the past remarks of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who in a 2010 pastoral letter of apology to Irish Catholics "spared no words in recognizing both the gravity of the situation and in demanding that "truly evangelical, just and effective" measures be taken in response to this betrayal of trust". All 45,000 tickets for this event are also booked out.

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