Archbishop Diarmuid Martin believes "the Pope has to speak frankly" regarding clerical abuse scandals 1 year ago

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin believes "the Pope has to speak frankly" regarding clerical abuse scandals

"The scandals of abuse in the Church have produced a deep-seated resentment among believers."

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has come out and said that it is not enough for Church officials to simply apologise for the numerous clerical abuse scandals that have been made public in recent times.

The Archbishop was speaking in the Pro Cathedral on Marlborough Street on Sunday morning when he said that “in just one week, we will be well into the short but intense visit to Ireland of Pope Francis."

The Most Reverend made it quite clear that, during the Pope's visit, saying he believes that the Pontiff should speak frankly about the past abusive history which has alienated the Church's importance in people's lives.

He also added that structures which permit or facilitate abuse must be "broken down forever everywhere", expressing exasperation that this has not been done already.

"What can Pope Francis say or do in a visit that will last little more than thirty-six hours," the Archbishop said.

"My hope is that he will speak kindly but also speak frankly.

"The recent history of the Church in Ireland had its moments of real darkness.  We need a Church of light, a light that exposes darkness for what it is, and a light that is such that the mechanisms of cover-up and self-justification cannot extinguish or tone down."

During the mass' homily, the 73-year-old concluded by urging people to pray for survivors of clerical abuse.

“As we prepare for the visit of Pope Francis, let us pray then for the Irish Church of the future. Let us pray for those who still suffer the effects of abuse."

His full homily can be read here.

This isn't the first time the Archbishop had made reference to clerical abuse victims during the Papal visit.

Speaking on RTÉ's Marian Finucane programme some weeks ago, the Archbishop said that is important that accusations of abuse be mentioned during his time here – but not to be referenced as part of the past, but rather, a part of the present.

"[He's] 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."

The Archbishop 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.