Pope Francis visits Ireland, says he shares ‘outrage’ over clergy sex abuse – National

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Pope Francis declared Saturday as he arrived in Eire that he shares the outrage of rank-and-file Catholics over the cover-up of the “repugnant crimes” of clergymen who raped and molested youngsters, and vowed that he was dedicated to ending the “scourge.”

Searching for to answer a world outcry over intercourse abuse by clergymen, Francis cited measures taken by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, to answer the disaster. However Benedict by no means acknowledged the Vatican’s position in fueling a tradition of cover-up, and Francis offered no new particulars of any measures he would take to sanction bishops who fail to guard their flocks from predator clergymen.


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“The failure of ecclesial authorities — bishops, spiritual superiors, clergymen and others — to adequately handle these repugnant crimes has rightly given rise to outrage, and stays a supply of ache and disgrace for the Catholic group. I actually share these sentiments,” the pope mentioned in a speech to authorities officers and civil authorities at Dublin Citadel.

Francis mentioned he was dedicated to ridding the church of this “scourge” regardless of the ethical value or quantity of struggling.

Francis’ journey to Eire, the primary by a pope in 39 years, has been overshadowed by renewed outrage over the Catholic Church’s systemic failures to guard youngsters, following revelations of sexual misconduct and cover-up within the U.S. church hierarchy, a rising disaster in Chile and the prosecutions of high clerics in Australia and France.

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Francis was anticipated to satisfy with abuse victims throughout his 36-hour go to to Eire. However neither his phrases at first of his go to nor a brand new assembly with victims is prone to assuage calls for for heads to roll over the intercourse abuse scandal.

“Disappointing, nothing new,” was the response from Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins, a former member of Francis’ intercourse abuse advisory panel who stop final yr in frustration.

Maybe in a sign of comparable sentiments, the reception Francis obtained in Dublin contrasted sharply with the raucous, rock star welcome that greeted St. John Paul II in 1979. Nobody from the general public was on the airport or the roads close by, although by late afternoon crowds had began to develop exterior Dublin’s cathedral, basking in gloriously sunny weekend climate.


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Deeply Catholic Eire has had one of many world’s worst data of clergy intercourse abuse, crimes that have been revealed to its four.eight million folks over the previous decade by a collection of government-mandated inquiries. The evaluations concluded that hundreds of youngsters have been raped and molested by clergymen or bodily abused in church-run faculties and bishops labored for years to cover these crimes.

After the Irish church atoned for its previous and enacted powerful new norms to combat abuse, it had been seeking to the primary go to by a pope in 40 years to indicate a unique, extra caring church that understands the issues of extraordinary Catholic households.

Greater than 37,000 folks — most of them younger Catholics — signed as much as attend a Vatican-sponsored World Assembly of Households that ends Sunday in Dublin, greater than twice the quantity as a earlier household rally in Philadelphia three years in the past.

And lots of trustworthy did stay hopeful that Francis’ look would carry therapeutic.

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“I see a number of new life amongst younger individuals who have a deep dedicated religion, Catholic religion,” mentioned Sean Ascogh, a churchgoer in Blessington southwest of Dublin. “Clearly, they’re very disillusioned by what has been occurring within the church in the previous few years, notably the entire abuse scandals, however I believe folks can see past that.”

Francis urged the Irish to just do that, to acknowledge that for all its failings, the Catholic Church has educated and cared for generations of Irish youngsters in instances of famine and nice poverty, when nobody else would.

“The church in Eire, previous and current, has performed a task within the welfare of youngsters that can’t be obscured,” the pope mentioned. “It’s my hope that the gravity of the abuse scandals, which have solid gentle on the failings of so many, will serve to emphasise the significance of the safety of minors and susceptible adults on the a part of society as an entire.”

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar concurred, saying the church stepped in to look after Irish youngsters when the state didn’t. However in his speech to the pope at Dublin Citadel, he mentioned each church and state had a historical past of “sorrow and disgrace,” and he urged the pope to make sure that victims of intercourse abuse discover “justice and reality and therapeutic.”


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Varadkar cited the current Pennsylvania grand jury report, which discovered 300 clergymen had abused greater than 1,000 youngsters over 70 years in six dioceses, in urging Francis “be sure that from phrases circulate actions.”

“In current weeks, we’ve all listened to heart-breaking tales from Pennsylvania of brutal crimes perpetrated by folks throughout the Catholic Church, after which obscured to guard the establishment on the expense of harmless victims,” Varadkar mentioned. “It’s a narrative all too tragically acquainted right here in Eire.”

Certainly, Eire’s tortured historical past of abuse has left its mark.

In a rustic the place Catholic bishops held such sway that they suggested the drafters of the republic’s structure within the 1930s, voters in recent times have turned their backs on core Catholic teachings. They’ve overturned a constitutional ban on abortion and legalized divorce, contraception, beforehand banned gay acts and same-sex marriage.

Irish abuse victims and their supporters have been to carry a solidarity rally Sunday in Dublin on the identical time Francis is celebrating his closing Mass to shut out the rally.

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Individually, survivors of Eire’s wretched “mom and child properties” — the place youngsters have been exiled for the disgrace of getting been born to unwed moms — are holding their very own demonstration Sunday. The placement is Tuam, website of a mass grave of a whole bunch of infants who died over time at a church-run dwelling.

Francis will probably be close by, visiting the Marian shrine at Knock, however has no plans to go to the grave website.

In his inaugural speech, Francis referred euphemistically to the plight of Irish girls who have been compelled for generations to work in laundries or different workhouses as a result of they bought pregnant exterior of marriage. However he mentioned solely that they and their youngsters, who have been despatched to orphanages, “endured notably tough conditions.”

When John Paul visited Eire in 1979, within the first-ever papal go to, some 1.25 million folks turned out for his inaugural Mass in Phoenix Park, a 3rd of the nation’s inhabitants and the biggest gathering in Irish historical past on the time. About half as many are anticipated Sunday for Francis.

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