'The least he can do is apologise,' says clerical sex abuse victim ahead of Papal visit

Pressure is mounting on the Pope to use his Irish visit to apologise to victims of abuse by members of the Catholic Church.

Survivors say it is the least the Pontiff can do during his taxpayer-funded trip to this country.

The latest accusations against the clergy centre on 300 priests in the US State of Pennsylvania who are reported to have covered up the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children over the past 70 years.

Irish man Darren McGavin was a victim of paedophile priest Fr Tony Walsh, and he says Pope Francis owes him an apology while he is here.

Fr Tony Walsh.
Fr Tony Walsh.

Mr McGavin said: "It's not going to go away, it's like putting a scratch on a record, it's always going to be there.

"You can go to therapy seven days a week, four hours a day, it's still going to be there. It's costing the Irish State and the Exchequer a lot of money to get this guy over here.

The least he can do, the very least he can do, is apologise to people.

A member of the organising team for the Pope's visit to Ireland has said that clerical abuse is something the Church needs to be vigilant about now and into the future.

Father McNeice said the clerical sex abuse in Pennsylvania is a story that is recognisable closer to home.

Fr McNeice said: "I just feel acutely for everybody who is there in Pennsylvania, because we in Dublin, having been through our own story, it's something we need to be constantly vigilant about both in the present and way into the future."

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