"He's nobody's fool" - Archbishop Diarmuid Martin talks up Pope Francis ahead of his planned visit to Dublin
"He's a free man. He's in nobody's pocket."
The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, is hopeful that Pope Francis will get adequate time to enjoy as inclusive a visit as possible when he hits up the capital in August.
Pope Francis is due over for two days to attend the World Meeting of Families on Saturday 25 August at Croke Park, and he will also be the chief celebrant at Holy Mass in the Phoenix Park the following day.
Speaking on Sunday with Miriam on RTÉ Radio 1, the Archbishop said that he hopes the people surrounding the Pope allow him to speak freely, though he also emphasised the short nature of the visit.
"I'm worried that some of the protocol issues will take more time than meeting with the poor," said the Archbishop, adding that the Pope's "great ability is to do things with gestures, particularly with people who are marginalised."
Archbishop Martin said that he would like the Pope to meet with struggling families, refugees, prisoners, the poor and victims of clerical abuse.
He would also like for Pope Francis to learn something of the Travelling community, "as they have the highest child mortality rates in Ireland as well as large numbers in prison."
Asked of the Pope's character, the Archbishop described him as "a complex figure, not all smiles. He's determined, he knows when people are not being true to him, not being loyal to him. He's nobody's fool. When he wants to do something, he'll do it."
"He's a free man", the Archbishop added, "he's in nobody's pocket."
Archbishop Martin also addressed former President Mary McAleese's criticism of the Catholic Church, after she labelled it "an empire of misogyny" in March.
"Misogynism is present, it is obviously present in the church," he admitted.
"There is a danger in an all male presbyterate that misogynism can enter. You can have a men's club and I think all of us have to examine our consciences to see where we are on this. How do we change it is the question. Misogynism is a sign of human immaturity and that is a worry."
In December, Archbishop Martin estimated that the cost of Pope's visit will amount to around €20 million "because of the complications of just gathering people together, and the security and technology that is needed to do that."
Meanwhile, if you're hoping to catch His Holiness in action this summer, here's everything you need to know.