The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, says he is “disheartened and discouraged” about the Catholic Church and its ability to tackle the sex abuse scandals.
He says he is particularly concerned about the lack of willingness to begin “what is going to be a painful path of renewal.
” Speaking about the future of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Martin said: “On a purely personal level, as Diarmuid Martin, I have never since becoming Archbishop of Dublin felt so disheartened and discouraged about the level of willingness to really begin what is going to be a painful path of renewal and of what is involved in that renewal.”
"Why am I discouraged?" he said.
"The most obvious reason is the drip-by-drip never-ending revelation about child sexual abuse and the disastrous way it was handled. There are still strong forces which would prefer that the truth did not emerge. The truth will make us free, even when that truth is uncomfortable.
"There are signs of subconscious denial on the part of many about the extent of the abuse which occurred within the church of Jesus Christ in Ireland and how it was covered up. There are other signs of rejection of a sense of responsibility for what had happened.
"There are worrying signs that despite solid regulations and norms these are not being followed with the rigor required," he said. And he said he would never stop working on behalf of the survivors of the sexual abuse.
"They had their childhood stolen and the words of Jesus about his special care for children will apply to them until that day, whenever and if ever that will be, when their hurt will be healed," he said.
Martin was speaking to a meeting of the Knights of Columbanus in Dublin Monday night and warned of dark days ahead.
"The Catholic Church in Ireland is coming out of one of the most difficult moments in its history and the light at the end of the tunnel is still a long way off. The Catholic Church in Ireland will have to live with the grief of its past, which can and should never be forgotten or overlooked. There is no simple way of wiping the slate of the past clean, just to ease our feelings."