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Datum objave: 26.08.2018

Pope Francis in Ireland

Pope shamed by Church's abuse failures

Pope Francis in Ireland

Papal visit: Pope shamed by Church's abuse failures

Leo Varadkar

"People kept in dark corners, behind closed doors, cries for help that went unheard... Above all, Holy Father, I ask to you to listen to the victims and survivors."


Leo Varadkar was elected Taoiseach on 14 June 2017.

Born in 1979, the son of an Indian father and Irish mother, he was educated at King’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin, where he studied to be a medical doctor.  He has worked as a junior doctor and qualified as a general practitioner.

He first ran for Dublin Corporation in 1999, but lost.  He ran again in 2004 and topped the poll.

Elected to the Dáil on his first attempt in 2007, he took his seat on 14 June.

Following the 2011 General Election he was appointed Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.  In the summer of 2014 he was appointed Minister for Health.

Following the 2016 General Election, he was appointed Minister for Social Protection.

He was elected leader of Fine Gael on 2 June 2017.

Leo Varadkar

Pope speaks out on Church abuse

Pope Francis and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar have given speeches in which they both addressed the child sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

They spoke to an audience at Dublin Castle, on the first day of Pope Francis's visit to Ireland this weekend.

Papal visit: Pope shamed by Church's abuse failures

Pope Francis has said he is ashamed of the Catholic Church's failure to adequately address the "repellent crimes" of sex abuse by clergy.

The Irish prime minister earlier delivered a strong warning to the Pope to take action against clergy involved in child abuse and keeping it secret.

The Pope spent 90 minutes with abuse survivors, reportedly telling them he viewed clerical sex abuse as "filth".

The papal visit is the first to the Irish Republic for 39 years.

It coincides with the World Meeting of Families, a global Catholic gathering held every three years.

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The Argentine Pope's opening remarks echoed a letter he sent to the world's 1.2bn Roman Catholics this week, in which he condemned the "atrocities" of child abuse and clerical cover-ups.

"I cannot 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," the Pope told political leaders and dignitaries at Dublin Castle.

"The failure of ecclesiastical authorities - bishops, religious superiors, priests and others - adequately to address these repellent crimes has rightly given rise to outrage, and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community," he said.

"I myself share those sentiments." The Pope veered off his script when speaking out about abuse, saying he had set out a "greater commitment to eliminating this scourge in the Church, at any cost".

He was speaking after Irish PM Leo Varadkar said the failures of the Church, the state and wider society had created a "bitter and broken heritage for so many, leaving a legacy of pain and suffering".

"Magdalene Laundries, mother-and-baby homes, industrial schools, illegal adoptions and clerical child abuse are stains on our state, our society and also the Catholic Church," he said, referring to a series of scandals that have rocked the Irish Church.

"People kept in dark corners, behind closed doors, cries for help that went unheard... Above all, Holy Father, I ask to you to listen to the victims and survivors."

Mr Varadkar said there could be zero tolerance for those who abuse children or who facilitate that abuse and that from words action must flow.

He referred to an investigation in the US state of Pennsylvania that found that more than 1,000 identifiable minors had been abused by 300 priests.

Mr Varadkar said the "heartbreaking stories" of "unspeakable crimes", perpetrated by religious officials and then obscured to protect the institutions, was a story "all too tragically familiar" to people in Ireland.

Papal visit: How Ireland received Pope Francis

Papal visit to Ireland: Itinerary highlights

Saturday 25 August

08:15 - Departure by plane from Rome for Dublin

10:30 - Arrival at Dublin Airport for official welcome

10:45 - Transfer to Áras an Uachtaráin (Irish president's residence)

11:15 - Welcome ceremony with President Michael D. Higgins

12:10 - Arrival at Dublin Castle for meeting with authorities, civil society and diplomatic corps

15:30 - Visit to St Mary's Pro Cathedral

16:30 - Private visit to the Capuchin Day Centre, a centre for homeless people

19:45 - Preside at the Festival of Families at Croke Park stadium

Sunday 26 August

08:40 - Departure by plane for Knock

09:45 - Arrival at Knock Shrine for visit to the Apparition Chapel and recitation of the Angelus

11:15 - Departure by plane for Dublin

12:30 - Lunch with the Papal Delegation

15:00 - Closing Papal Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Phoenix Park

18:30 - Farewell ceremony at Dublin Airport

18:45 - Departure for Rome

23:00 - Arrival in Rome

You can follow minute-by-minute updates on the Pope's visit here on the BBC News website.

You can watch live coverage of the visit on a special Newsline programme at 19:20 BST on BBC One NI.

Switch on for Sunday's Newsline showing highlights from the visit at 22:30 BST.

On radio, tune into BBC Radio Ulster on Saturday at 11:30 for live coverage with William Crawley and join Seamus McKee for a special extended The Sunday News at 13:00.

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