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Every 'rotten apple' in Catholic Church should be removed, abuse survivor tells WMOF

A clerical abuse survivor has said that every "rotten apple" in the Catholic Church should be removed.

Marie Collins told The World Meeting of Families today that there is denial within the Catholic Church about the scale of clerical sex abuse.

Marie Collins speaking at the World Meeting of Families event in the RDS today. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Ahead of the arrival of Pope Francis tomorrow, there are calls for the Vatican to come up with a plan to address the issue.

The Pontiff will meet with some victims, many of them have called for action, rather than just apologies.

In her speech, Ms Collins criticised the Vatican for "defending the indefensible" and called for a zero-tolerance approach to those found to be perpetrating or covering up abuse.

As part of a panel discussion titled 'Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adult', Ms Collins criticised Pope Francis' letter to all Catholics this week on clerical child abuse.

She said there were many within the Church who believe "that all this is a media conspiracy" and that survivors were out to destroy the church.

Ms Collins appealed to them to put their energies into effecting change, rather than "defending the indefensible" and denial.

Primate of All Ireland Eamon Martin was among those in the audience for her speech and acknowledged the church needs to take tougher action.

"We need to listen to Marie, and other Prophets like her, and take the actions that she feels need to be taken at global level," he said.

Meanwhile, final preparations are underway ahead of the Pope’s arrival as he is due to touch down on Irish soil tomorrow morning for a two day two visit that will see him spend just 36 hours in the country.

It is the biggest event organised in Ireland in 40 years and the biggest in Europe this year.

Pope Francis is due to arrive at Dublin airport at around 10.30 tomorrow morning then it is on to the Aras for a private meeting with President Michael D Higgins.

From there he will travel to Dublin Castle for a meeting with the Taoiseach and then St Mary’s Pro Cathedral.

Around 100,000 people are expected to line the streets of the capital to see him on the Popemobile as he makes his way to the Capuchin day centre for a private meeting with homeless people before a concert in Croke Park tomorrow evening attended by more than 80,000.

On Sunday, he will fly to Knock where he will visit the Shrine and say the Angelus in front of a crowd of 45,000 before returning to Dublin for mass in the Phoenix Park where half a million people are due to attend.

More than 1,200 journalists from 31 countries are covering the two-day visit.

Digital Desk