The pontiff is clear-eyed about the sins of others. But he refuses to acknowledge the Vatican’s role in the cover-up
I remember the last papal visit to Ireland. It was 1979, and I was aged 13. I went to a Christian Brothers school. I sang at mass every Sunday, occasionally did readings, and the youth group I attended every week took place in a convent.
I remember being envious because my older brother and sister got to see the pope, but I didn’t. I was in the minority in that regard: a staggering 75% of the population saw John Paul II during his three-day visit. One-third of the population attended the papal mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. That event remains the largest single mobilisation of people in Irish history.