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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 5 July 2022

Majority of people think Pope Francis 'didn't go far enough' on child abuse during Irish visit

That’s according to an Ipsos MRBI poll for the Irish Times.

Image: Danny Lawson/PA Images

OVER HALF OF people said that Pope Francis “did not go far enough” with his statements on the issue of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church during his Irish visit, while less than a third said that he had.

While the pope spoke at events at Dublin Castle, Knock and the Phoenix Park over the two-days he was here, the papal visit has not changed the views of most people about the church, according to the Ipsos MRBI poll for the Irish Times.

The wide-ranging poll was conducted using a sample of 750 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6%.

The scandal in the Catholic Church over child sexual abuse by clergy was a feature of the pontiff’s visit at the weekend to Ireland where he said he “begged for God’s forgiveness” for the damage done to the victims.

While mass took place in the Phoenix Park, the Stand for Truth march took place in Dublin city centre as a demonstration to mark the upset, hurt and anger that many feel towards the role of the church in Ireland over the past century.

Pope Francis said at the mass: “We ask forgiveness for the times that as a Church we did not show survivors of whatever kind of abuse compassion and the seeking of justice and truth through concrete actions. We ask for forgiveness.”

In all, 55% of those polled said they didn’t think the pope had gone far enough on the issue of child sex abuse, 31% said he had, and 14% said they had no opinion.

When asked if the papal visit had changed their opinion of the church, 5% said it had a lot, 15% said it somewhat had, and 80% said it hadn’t at all.

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Of those polled, 67% described themselves as Catholic. On the question of if priests should be allowed to marry, 90% said they should, 86% said women should be allowed to be priests and 92% said contraception should be available in all circumstances.

Further questions asked if abortion should be allowed in a wide range of circumstances (53% agreed, and 41% disgareed) and if gay and lesbian marriages should be recognised by the church (77% agreed they should, and 16% disagreed).

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Sean Murray

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