What would You like to say to Pope Francis about the Church – submit your views

Four public meetings, organised by the ACP, have been held countrywide to give people the opportunity to articulate what they would like to say to Pope Francis about the church, and particularly about the church in Ireland.

RTE Radio 1 on their news programme Morning Ireland, 19 July 2018, gave a little coverage to the Dublin Meeting. You can listen to it below.


The ACP realise that many people were unable to attend these meetings and have expressed a desire to have their views taken into account.
We invite people who wish to express their opinions to do so by emailing


and outlining what it is they would say to Pope Francis if he were sitting in front of them.


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  1. Mary Vallely says:

    Forgive me for appearing to be cynical but the Pope doesn’t have English so what happens the reams and reams of emails? Will they be added to the report of these four meetings? How do you guarantee they will be seen at all after ( if you are so blessed) you receive an acknowledgement that they have been received?
    Would it not be better to write an actual letter on paper in either Spanish or Italian and hand it to our local bishop/Archbishop to ask him to give to the Pope’s Secretary? A wee ‘billet doux’ in a brightly coloured envelope perfumed with the scents of Argentina. ( imagination running riot here).
    I applaud the ACP’s initiative in organising these four meetings but I cannot see how emails sent to info@ etc; will do anything other than relieve the sender of some justifiable anger and stress.
    Yes, oh ye of little faith… mea culpa.

  2. Brendan Hoban says:

    To Mary Vallely @ 1

    We do what we can, when we can, how we can.
    Brendan Hoban

  3. Mary Vallely says:

    Touché, Brendan @3! Yes indeed and you do far more than most. My respect and my gratitude to you. Your persistence and dedication, never mind optimism, is a lesson for us all – well, for me anyway. GRMMA.

  4. Frances Burke says:

    The resignation of Cardinal McCarrick is as unexpected as it is unprecedented. The incessant media coverage over the past few weeks has uncovered his decade’s long unsavoury behaviour in all its ugly details. Top officials now claim that they knew nothing about his carry on. This is contradicted by clergy who state they wrote on the Vatican years ago regarding his fitness for office. Cardinal O’Malley says these cases ‘raise up the fact that when charges are brought regarding a bishop or a cardinal, a major gap still exists in the Church’s policies on sexual conduct and sexual abuse’. A loophole exists which seems to favour bishops and cardinals.
    This short podcast is a commentary on Cardinal O’Malley’s 16 year role in protecting children http://www.wbur.org/news/2018/07/25/omalley-statement-on-church-sexual-abuse
    I believe that we are now witnessing a #MeToo moment for victims/survivors of clerical abuse. People who were silenced for so long are finding their voice and are speaking out. The media are allowing them to be heard, voices that the Church historically tried to silence. We have nuns, priests and laypeople from India, Chile, Honduras and America stating that they were abused by clergy. Some were abused as children and some as adults. Unspeakable acts carried out on the most vulnerable are now been brought out into the light of day. The emerging catalogue of abuse perpetrated by clergy on their own is shocking and appalling and needs to be condemned from the heights. Despicable behaviour inflicted on the powerless by the powerful.
    Did the Church hierarchy ever have any intention of disclosing the extent of the abuse problem? The have historically stonewalled the problem for as long as possible while making all the right noises. In Australia the Royal Commission into Institutional Abuse said it found a Church more concerned about the protection of the institution over the protection of children. A pretty damning assessment.
    The headlines now splashed across newspapers and on social media is difficult reading for the faithful. How could a cardinal lead such a duplicitous life? They read that the charismatic ‘Uncle Ted’ rubbed shoulders with the high and mighty and he had all the right connections. The betrayal will be felt very acutely by those who believe in the infallibility of Princes of the Church. I can only speculate that clergy will find these revelations deeply hurtful as well.
    I believe that what we are hearing and seeing now is the tip of the iceberg. I think thousands of victims/survivors will come forward knowing that they are not alone. The media will keep shining a light on this issue and given the far reaching tentacles of the Church there will be survivors from across the globe. I shudder to think what will emerge from developing countries.
    The evidence shows that the Church has demonstrably failed survivors. There is ample evidence that it tried every avenue to block justice for many survivors. As it stands there are 1800 sexual abuse cases pending at the Vatican. At current staffing levels it will take years to sort these out. These delays would have served the Church well in the past as many survivors or their abusers died before justice could be served. The luxury of delays can no longer be afforded to the Church if it wants to retain some credibility.
    In May of this year when the Pope realised that his staff had misled him on the Chilean situation he summoned the survivors to Rome and apologised to them. He also summoned the Bishops and he gave them a good dressing down. The Bishops responded by handing in their resignations enmasse. There is now a police investigation underway and Cardinal Ezzati is due to testify on the 21st of August. It took just three months from been summoned to Rome to been interviewed by police. Contrary to what many people would have you believe, things can move along very swiftly if the will is present and the right people are given the job.
    Will the same route be taken in other countries where the cover up of abuse has been credible flagged? We will have to wait and see. To my mind this is the fastest way of getting to the truth and getting justice for survivors. The prospect of this course of action will no doubt have many bishops and cardinals running scared.
    Meanwhile in the McCarrick case, the bishop of Fort Worth, Texas has not sat on the fence in his condemnation of McCarricks actions and has called for accountability for all Church leaders who knew of his alleged misconduct and did nothing. Will this call for accountability be answered?
    The Catholic Church in Ireland has first-hand experience of how ordinary people respond to duplicitous behaviour and cover-ups. They walk away in disgust. Irish survivors are calling on the Pope to acknowledge the cover ups that went on here, and the fault of the Church therein.

    I would like to hear the Pope to say when he visits Ireland that the culture of abuse that has permeated the Church is totally unacceptable and that protection will not be afforded to those who abuse their positions of power.

    I would like to state the obvious to the Pope and say the Church has failed survivors. I would like to hear the Pope say that changes will be made to law so that these failures will never be repeated.

  5. Frances Burke says:

    An American bishop has publicly declared that the current practice of bishops investigating bishops needs to be changed. He proposes that laity should now take on this role.


    How much resistance will he get for this stance or do the American bishops see the writing on the wall

  6. Frances Burke says:

    Sure ye are great lads in Chile, says the pope to the bishops


    He wrote to tell them that he was “impressed by the reflection, discernment and decisions” taken by bishops when they met last week.

    Is this a kiss and make up moment after the public bust up a few months ago?? Is the pope saying lets just forget about all the lives that have been damaged and destroyed by your active cover-up of abuse. Lets get back to the good old days.

  7. Frances Burke says:

    Has the pope been told that homeless people may have to move out of their accommodation to facilitate his visit? This tweet comes up with the perfect solution to this problem (I’m sure homeless people are used to been called a problem ??)

    Okay. So here’s a random thought: instead of moving the homeless out of Dublin hotels for the pope’s visit, let’s move pope’s entourage to the country & tell them housing the homeless is what Jesus would do. ?

    I’ve another idea. How about making some of the vast amounts of property the Church owns available to the homeless free of charge? I’m sure there is loads of room in Bishops palaces that isn’t been used. What better use could be made of it than to house the most needy.

    It would be a great gesture if the Bishops took it upon themselves to make this offer to those in most need

  8. Frances Burke says:

    This radio interview was given by American priest Fr. Tom Doyle on RTE yesterday. Back in 1985 he “warned of a national scandal if the hierarchy did not adopt a sound policy” in relation to those who abuse children. Unfortunately he was not listened to.

    This frank interview admits to the Vatican cover up of the problem, in order to protect the institution. He also talks about where the pope is at on the issue, and how he might address it when he comes to Ireland.


  9. Paul O'Malley says:

    ‘Just one Irish bishop stood out. “Without a shadow of a doubt that would be Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, because he had the courage of his convictions. He was prepared to be unpopular, he was prepared to say ‘this is not right, it should not be happening’, and he was a very strong person and I admired him.’


  10. Frances Burke says:

    ‘Just one Irish bishop stood out. “Without a shadow of a doubt that would be Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, because he had the courage of his convictions. He was prepared to be unpopular, he was prepared to say ‘this is not right, it should not be happening’, and he was a very strong person and I admired him.’


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