Thursday 24 October 2019

Global headlines focus on child abuse scandal

Pope Francis leads the Angelus in Knock, Co. Mayo, on the second day of his visit to Ireland. Photo: TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis leads the Angelus in Knock, Co. Mayo, on the second day of his visit to Ireland. Photo: TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Pope Francis' visit to Ireland made international headlines, and its timing gave added prominence to the child sex abuse scandals engulfing the Catholic Church worldwide.

Newspapers and online news services recorded the Pontiff's meeting with abuse survivors, his promise to end the scourge of abuse, and his appeal for forgiveness for clerical child abuse and the harsh treatment inflicted on those who lived in institutions run by the religious.

On Saturday, the 'New York Times' reported that the Pope was arriving in Ireland to find "a country transformed and a Church in tatters".

In an update yesterday, events in Ireland were being overtaken by a call from a former top-ranking Vatican official, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, for Pope Francis' resignation, claiming he had known about abuse by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington DC, years before it became public, and had failed to punish him. The headline ran: 'Call for resignation further clouds visit'.

In Australia, Melbourne's 7 News television bulletins combined Pope Francis' declaration of shame at the "Catholic Church's failure to address decades of 'repugnant' sexual abuse by paedophile priests", with footage of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's speech and images of protests.

Headlines in Britain's 'The Guardian' included 'Irish PM: time to move Catholic church from centre of society', 'Pope begs forgiveness and vows to pursue justice as Ireland trip ends' and 'Pope Francis failed to act on US abuse claims, says former Vatican envoy'.

Irish Independent

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