25 Aug 2018

Ireland prepares for Pope visit amid Catholic abuse and adoption scandals

Foreign Affairs Correspondent

The last time a Pope visited Ireland, it was John Paul II in 1979. Almost half the population turned out to see him. Back then around nine out of ten Irish Catholics would attend weekly mass. Contraception, divorce and abortion were illegal. It will be a very different Ireland Pope Francis will visit this time. While there will be crowds, they’re expected to be well down on 39 years ago, as scandal after scandal has taken its toll on the Church’s moral authority.