Pope's visit

Vatican spokesman: abuse 'culture' will not change overnight

The Vatican's chief press officer Greg Burke spoke with RTÉ on the eve of the Pope's visit to Ireland. Picture: RTÉ
Paul Ainsworth

The Vatican's chief spokesman has said the "cultural problem" of abuse within the Catholic Church will not be changed "overnight" ahead of the Pope's visit to Ireland.

Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, said the church would "take responsibility" for abuse scandals in Ireland, and tackle the problem.

However, in an interview with RTÉ News last night , he played down speculation that the Pontiff will announce any specific measures during the two-day trip.

"I think the first thing the Pope will do is to show the acknowledgement of that," he said, referring to abuse.

"In terms of moving to actions - that will happen. But it doesn't happen overnight. And people know that. People know that in the church and they know that in society as well."

Speaking of hopes that the Pope will take steps to address the problem during his Irish trip, Mr Burke added: "Let's see what the Pope has to say. That's really a key thing on this trip. I think there is so much apprehension on all Pope trips."

Meanwhile, Mr Burke said Pope Francis was "excited" ahead of his first Papal Irish visit, adding: "He's well rested and he's ready to go."

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Pope's visit

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