"A huge shame" - Colm O'Gorman criticises Pope Francis' speech in Dublin Castle 1 year ago

"A huge shame" - Colm O'Gorman criticises Pope Francis' speech in Dublin Castle

"I think, frankly, it's rather disgraceful."

Colm O'Gorman has heavily criticised Pope Francis' approach following his initial address to the people of Ireland.

Speaking to RTÉ News on Saturday afternoon, O'Gorman was strong in his conviction that the Pontifex effectively pulled his punches.

"The Pope was speaking not to the faithful, it wasn't a sacramental moment, it was a State occasion," said O'Gorman.

"We have the head of state of the Vatican City state here, speaking in a public context.

"He could have talked to the people of Ireland beyond just those who might identify as faithful Catholics, but he could have talked to us all in a way that was blunt, that was clear, that was frank, that was human and that was accessible.

"He refused, clearly, to do so, and that's a huge shame. I think, frankly, it's rather disgraceful."

O'Gorman is one of the principal figures involved in Sunday afternoon's planned Stand4Truth demonstration, in solidarity with victims of abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church, which is scheduled to take place in the Garden of Remembrance at 3pm.

An outspoken victim of clerical abuse, O'Gorman previously received a threatening letter from a member of the public regarding his Papal views.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin also spoke to RTÉ News, noting that he would have appreciated "a greater focus on the actions that should follow" in the wake of the Pope's words.

"I think he was quite clear in his condemnation of the failings of the church in terms of abuse of children by church members," said Martin.

"But I do think there needs to be follow-through in terms of who was responsible for the various cover-ups, for the policies of shifting the abusers to different parishes and locations where the abuse continued.

"It has to be completely open and frank."

Martin's comments echoed those of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who called on Pope Francis to use his office and influence to ensure that abuse survivors get "justice, truth and healing" during a speech on Saturday afternoon.