Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Pope Francis is Dublin’s Pro Cathedral last weekend

The natural order around apology and forgiveness is that firstly the offender apologises for the deeds and/or words which he or she acknowledges as having been wrong, and that is much much more than merely uttering a “sorry”.

A sincere apology which is not just an attempt to gloss over matters can be followed by a request for forgiveness.

Sincerity around the apology means not repeating the deed, or at the very least making best efforts not to do so, or to put systems in place to that end.

The offended party might well accept an apology, but forgiveness depends on their own appreciation of the nature and sincerity of the apology they received.

The onus of forgiveness was placed on victims of clerical sexual abuse and of institutional abuse last weekend when criteria for apology had not yet been met, as evidenced in the semantics of the pope’s speeches.

A universal forgiveness is hard to achieve, because every victim’s harm and subsequent resulting fallout are unique and personal.

To request forgiveness without apologising is arrogant, no matter who or what one is, or whom or what one represents.

Michele Savage,

Dublin 12.

Lessons from visit of Pope Francis (Irish Times letters page)


Last night.

Irish Film Institute, Temple Br, Dublin 2.

An unauthorised addition to the poster for documentary Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word (2018), currently screening at the IFI .

Yesterday: No Words

Pic: Madame K


From top: At the residence of the Papal Nuncio’s residence in Dublin on Saturday; Pope Francis with Paul Redmond and Clodagh Malone, of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors; abuse survivor Marie Collins and Clodagh with the pope; a note on Mr Redmond’s book The Adoption Machine which was given to Pope Francis; and a baby shoe which was also given to the pontiff

On Saturday.

Representatives of the Coalition of Mother and Baby homes Survivors Paul Redmond and Clodagh Malone met with Pope Francis along with six survivors of clerical sex abuse for a private meeting which lasted 90 minutes.

Paul and Clodagh write:

“The meeting was informal and Redmond and Malone went first. The Pope was presented with a copy of Redmond’s book, The Adoption Machine, as well as a blue baby shoe with black mourning ribbon on behalf of the ‘Baby Shoes Remember’ project, to symbolise the innocence of all the babies and children who have suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church both in institutions and as victims of sexual abuse by clerics.

“…Another survivor who spoke to the Pope addressed the issue of Industrial Schools and Magdalene Laundries but the Pope was unfamiliar with these institutions.

“Paul Redmond spent a few minutes giving the Pope a crash course about the role of institutions in Ireland. Ireland, uniquely, retained its large scale institutions while the rest of the world closed them down from around 1900. In Ireland they lasted well into the 1980s and 1990s.

“The Pope was informed that 150,000 women and children went through the various institutions, that at least 6,000 babies were neglected to death in the Mother and Baby homes alone, that 3,000 babies were effectively sold to rich Americans, that hundreds of  babies were used as guinea pigs for vaccine trials by big pharma and, that the nuns “donated” almost 500 bodies of dead babies to medical science to save themselves the cost of undertakers and burials.

“The Pope was clearly shocked by the revelations and lifted his hands to his head in disbelief.

“The Pope drew parallels between what occurred in Ireland and what happened in Argentina and how the “Grandmothers of the Disappeared” were still searching for their grandchildren.”



The Adoption Machine (Paul Redmond)

Previously: “He Condemned It As Caca, Literally Filth As One Sees In A Toilet, His Translator Clarified”

On Saturday.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone spoke with Pope Francis briefly at Áras an Uachtaráin (top).

This morning, she was interviewed by Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ Radio One (above) and recounted that she said to him:

“Pope Francis, I am responsible for the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. Children’s remains were found in a sewage system there. I hope the church will make reparation for its part in this shameful chapter. It is important and I will write to you in detail.”

Ms Zappone has since published on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs website what she wrote to Pope Francis.

The website states Ms Zappone wrote:

Dear Pope Francis,

As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and an Independent Minister of the Government of Ireland I am writing to you in the hope that the church will accept its responsibilities and make reparation for its part in a very shameful chapter of Irish history.

Mother and Baby Homes came to public attention in Ireland during the summer of 2014 following a series of disturbing reports of high mortality rates and claims of possible burials of children on the grounds of a former home in Tuam Co Galway. The then Government decided to have these matters investigated and a statutory Commission of Investigation was established in February 2015.

The Commission has been examining a wide range of concerns related to the institutional care of unmarried mothers and their babies during the period 1922 to 1998. The Commission is examining 14 Mother and Baby Homes and 4 County Homes. It will in time provide a full account of what happened to vulnerable women and children in these institutions; how they came to be there; and the pathways they took as they left.

An early focus of the Commission’s work was to examine the Tuam site to address questions about the alleged internment of human remains. As part of this process, the Commission conducted a series of surveys and test excavations, commencing in October 2016. I visited the site myself and met former residents and relatives shortly before these works commenced.

The statutory Commission of Investigation confirmed the presence of human remains on the site of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam. The Home was run by the Bon Secours Sisters from 1925-1961 in what was previously a workhouse dating back to famine times. In the 1970’s the former home was demolished to make way for a local authority housing estate. A small memorial garden is maintained by local residents and there is also a children’s playground on the site.

The Commission’s excavations have revealed that human remains are visible in a series of chambers that may have formed part of sewage treatment works for the Home. The Commission believes that there are a significant number of children’s remains there. It recovered some juvenile remains for detailed forensic analysis. From this analysis, it has determined that the remains are between 35 foetal weeks and 2 to 3 years of age. From carbon dating it has correlated the age of these samples with the time period during which the home was in operation – between 1925 and 1961.

This news was met with widespread disgust both in Ireland and abroad. There were suspicions about burials of this kind in Tuam for some time.. However, it is fair to say that the confirmation received from the Commission of Investigation caused many people to demand that dignity and respect be afforded to the memory of the children who lived their short lives in this Home. We also owe it to the families of these children to now do the right thing by their loved ones.

We have now put in place a series of actions to ensure that we have an appropriate and respectful response to the discovery.

Since then, I have instructed an expert team to do further work on the site to determine the options that are open to us to fulfil our duty to these children. The team has reported offering options including a complete excavation of the site and DNA analysis of the hundreds of remains contained therein.

A consultation has also been carried out with survivors and local residents about what they would like to see happen on the site in Tuam.

There was little compassion shown to children and their mothers in this home.

We cannot change what happened to them. For the little ones whose remains are in a sewage system, we owe them dignity in death. For their mothers, siblings and families we need to give them some peace.

It is my strong conviction that given the role of the Church in this shameful chapter of recent Irish history it must play a practical role in addressing the hurt and damage. I believe that the church should contribute substantially to the cost of whatever option is decided by the government. This should be done willingly, unconditionally and quickly. Nothing less will demonstrate remorse.

I look forward to receiving your response.

With every best wish, sincerely yours,

Dr Katherine Zappone, TD
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs


Journalist Conall Ó Fátharta, of the Irish Examiner, has tweeted the following…

Conall Ó Fátharta

Minister Zappone’s Remarks to Pope Francis at Áras an Uachtaráin (Department of Children and Youth Affairs)

Previously: Open The Files

Top pic: Conor Ó Mearáin

Further to last night’s criticism by journalist Vincentt Browne of RTÉ’s live coverage of the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland.

Martha writes:

Take a bow Aine Lawlor, Joe Duffy, Mary Kennedy, Caitriona Perry, Marty Morrissey, Marty Whelan, etc, etc. I strongly agree with Vincent Browne’s sentiment concerning RTÉ and its fawning running commentary on the Pope’s visit. I speak as a practising Catholic and involved in television and can only see this massively backfiring…The reverential tone throughout by professional journalists was embarrassingly child-like…and often unintentionally funny…

Last night: And How Was It For You?

This morning.

Knock, County Mayo.

Scenes from the visit of Pope Francis to the shrine marking the spot where local children claimed to have seen apparitions of the Virgin Mary in 1879.

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

From top: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former Apostolic Nuncio to United States; Pope Francis greets Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington DC, who resigned last month over claims he sexually abused seminary students and an altar boy.

A former Vatican ambassador to Washington said Sunday that he told Pope Francis in 2013 about allegations of sexual abuse against a prominent priest – and that Francis took no action.

Now, the former official, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, is calling for Francis to step down:

“In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example to Cardinals and Bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.”

Vigano, who retired in 2016 at age 75, described an exchange with Francis on June 23, 2013, shortly after he became pope, about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington D.C., who resigned last month over claims he sexually abused seminary students and an altar boy.

Vigano writes that he told Francis about the allegations:

“Holy Father, I don’t know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but if you ask the Congregation for Bishops there is a dossier this thick about him. He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.”

But Francis, who replaced Benedict in March 2013, lifted the restrictions and brought McCarrick back into favour, Archbishop Viganò said.

The pope made him a “trusted counsellor” advising him on key appointments…

Former Vatican official claims Pope Francis knew of abusive priest and calls for his resignation (CBS)

Pics; Getty/AFP

Last night: “He Condemned It As ‘Caca’, Literally Filth As One Sees In A Toilet, His Translator Clarified”

Previously: Over 1,000 Children Targeted By ‘Predator Priests’

Pope Francis’s Popemobile in Garda Headquarters on Monday

RTÉ reports:

Pope Francis will be driven through Dublin city centre in his ‘Popemobile’ on Saturday afternoon giving the public the first opportunity to see the pontiff, according to Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Miriam, Commissioner Leahy said this will take place after the pope finishes at the Pro-Cathedral at around 4.15pm.

The route will go south on O’Connell Street, across O’Connell Bridge, up Westmoreland Street, and continuing up Dame Street.

The route will then pass Christchurch Cathedral, go down Bridge Street and across the Liffey onto Church Street to the Capuchin Centre where Pope Francis will have a private meeting with homeless families.

Public to be able to see Pope Francis as ‘Popemobile’ travels through Dublin (RTE)

Pic: Theresa Mannion

Pope Francis

RTÉ reports:

The Vatican has said Pope Francis will meet victims of clerical sexual abuse during his trip to Ireland this weekend.

“The pope is visiting Ireland on 25 and 26 August to attend the Catholic World Meeting of Families in Dublin and will also visit Knock Shrine in Co Mayo.

“Vatican Spokesman Greg Burke told reporters at a briefing today that the meeting with clerical abuse survivors will not be announced until after it is over and that it will be up to the victims if they want to speak afterwards.”

Pope Francis will meet abuse victims during trip to Ireland (RTÉ)


Pope Francis

“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26). These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons.

Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike.

Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated.

The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.”

Extract from a letter from Pope Francis to the “People of God”, this afternoon. Full letter at link below.

Read Full Letter: Pope Francis On Abuse (CNN)

Earlier: No Shows And Cover Ups

Pic: Getty