Pope issues sweeping apology for Catholic Church 'crimes' in Ireland

Cardinal Says Pope Has More Important Things to Address Than Abuse Scandal Like The Environment and Immigration

Pope Francis on Sunday declined to comment on a letter by a former Vatican official that he had ignored sexual abuse claims against USA cardinal McCarrick.

Archbishop Vigano says he had told Pope Francis in 2013 that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had faced extensive accusations of sexually abusing lower-ranking seminarians and priests.

His letter identifies by name the Vatican cardinals and US archbishops who were informed about the McCarrick affair, an unthinkable expose for a Vatican diplomat to make.

"Pope Francis has repeatedly asked for total transparency in the Church", wrote Vigano, who has criticised the pope before.

"To survivors of abuse of power, conscience and sexual abuse, recognising what they have told me, I would like to put these crimes before the mercy of the Lord and ask forgiveness for them", he said at a church service attended by more than 100,000 people at Dublin's Phoenix Park.

Speaking to the press Sunday on his flight back to Italy from Ireland, Pope Francis said, "I will not say a single word on this", although he added that after some time passes, "I may speak".

But the document - which was released selectively to conservative Catholic websites - is being read in Church circles as part of an attack by those unhappy with Francis' papacy with one commentator describing the document as exposing the "putsch" against the Pope.

Francis declined late Sunday to confirm or deny Vigano's report, telling journalists to judge for themselves.

"You have the sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions", the pontiff told reporters in the Vatican's plane.

"I am your father, I am your mother, let's talk, I will not throw you out of the family". "He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance".

Pope Francis allegedly removed those unconfirmed sanctions and made McCarrick "his trusted counselor" despite knowing him to be a "serial predator".

"John Joseph Murphy, 10 months", the protesters said in memory of the children who were buried in an unmarked mass grave whose discovery was confirmed only past year.

The American church's scandal took a new twist Sunday, when two conservative Catholic news outlets, the National Catholic Register and LifeSiteNews, published a letter attributed to a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S.

"We have voted in our parliament and by referendum to modernise our laws - understanding that marriages do not always work, that women should make their own decisions, and that families come in many forms including those headed by a grandparent, lone parent or same-sex parents or parents who are divorced".

The Ireland that the Pope visited is a different country to that which greeted Pope John Paul II in 1979. It is my hope that your visit marks the opening of a new chapter in the relationship between Ireland and the Catholic Church.

'When it shows itself from childhood, there is a lot that can be done through psychiatry, to see how things are.

"I do not know when Pope Benedict took these measures against McCarrick, whether in 2009 or 2010, because in the meantime I had been transferred to the Governorate of Vatican City State, just as I do not know who was responsible for this incredible delay", he said.

Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who spoke ahead of the Pope on Saturday, did not skirt the current abuse revelations that have emerged in Pennsylvania.

Francis met privately on Saturday with eight victims of clerical, religious and institutional abuse, saying he would seek greater commitment to eliminate the "scourge".

But Vigano insisted the sanctions had been imposed, and said a former counselor in the embassy at the time was "prepared to testify" about the "stormy" meeting when McCarrick was informed of them.