Papal visit: Pope Francis travels to Knock Shrine

26 August, 2018, 11:59 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
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Francis said he was committed to ridding the church of this "scourge" no matter the moral cost or amount of suffering.

With the reverberations of a litany of church sex abuse scandals casting a shadow over the first papal visit to Ireland in nearly 40 years, Francis confronted the issue in his address inside the castle's St Patrick's Hall.

Earlier, the Irish prime minister and taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, had boldly asked him to ensure that "from words, flow actions".

Pope Francis vowed on Saturday to end the sexual exploitation of children by clergy during a highly-charged visit to once deeply Catholic Ireland and, according to victims, said the corruption and cover up of abuse amounted to human excrement.

"I can not fail to acknowledge the grave scandal caused in Ireland by the abuse of young people by members of the church charged with responsibility for their protection and education", Francis told a room filled with members of the Irish government, other lawmakers and diplomats.

Pope Francis marked the first papal visit to Ireland in almost four decades with a speech acknowledging the "failure" of the Catholic Church to address the "repugnant crimes" of clerical sexual abuse there, which he said has "rightly given rise to outrage".

"I'm delighted he is coming, I think it makes a great change from the last few years of bad news for the Church", said Dubliner Kyle O'Sullivan.

The protest invites anyone who has "been harmed or abused by the Roman Catholic Church or who wishes to stand in solidarity with those harmed by its actions" to join the event at 3 pm at The Garden of Remembrance in Dublin.

A spokesman said he spent 90 minutes with them.

"There are dark aspects of the Catholic Church's history, as one of our bishops recently said".

Colm O'Gorman of Amnesty International Ireland, who was abused by a priest for more than two years as a teenager, said the Pope's comments did not go far enough.

More than three-quarters of Ireland's population flocked to see Pope John Paul II in 1979 when divorce and contraception were illegal.

Pope Francis has been welcomed to Dublin by pro-LGBT demonstrators during his visit to Ireland.

Lisa Breslin, an Irish activist who started a campaign called "Say Nope to the Pope", told NPR, "We're at a crucial time in Ireland".

"Wounds are still open and there is much to be done to bring about justice and truth and healing for victims and survivors".

Organisers had expected more than 100,000 people to throng the streets of the Irish capital to greet the Pope's motorcade, but the initial welcome was muted.

The pontiff's arrival at Dublin airport on Saturday comes amid declining religious observance in the traditionally Catholic country and anger over the Catholic Church's record on tackling sexual abuse by priests.

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".

The Pope heard Mr Varadkar, a gay man, speak out against the traditional Catholic teaching on the family.

He will visit a homeless centre, before attending this evening's Feast of Families event at Croke Park stadium.

The pontiff will travel to County Mayo on Sunday morning for a visit to Knock Shrine, before returning to Dublin to close the World Meeting of Families at an afternoon Mass in front of an estimated 500,000 people in Phoenix Park.



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