Small crowd for papal Mass in Ireland
More than 500,000 tickets for the papal Mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park on Sunday were handed out, but apparently, only about 130,000 people showed up.
Over half a million tickets were snapped up for the event, but it is thought that just 130,000 people turned out.
Well wishers waved flags, cheered and reached out to touch the pontiff as he passed on his way to a stage, where he then conducted the religious service for the faithful.
During the mass, which was aired live on TV, the Pope asked for forgiveness for the clerical and institutional abuse in Ireland.
On Saturday, the Pope had an emotional meeting with eight survivors of abuse.
During the meeting the eight survivors spoke at length with the Pontiff about their experiences.
As mass took place, thousands of people descended on the city centre for the Stand 4 Truth protest.
When popes say public Masses, it is generally in front of hundreds of thousands of the faithful, rain or shine. This paltry turnout in Ireland, formerly one of the most Catholic countries in Europe, speaks volumes about how far the Church has fallen from grace in that country.
While the pope was asking for forgiveness for the sins of others, he might have included himself in those prayers. The revelation that Pope Francis knew of the abuse by former Washington, D.C. archbishop Theodore McCarrick and still used him for official Vatican business has called into question this pope's fitness to remain in office. He can't very well speak authoritatively about reforming the Church when he himself is part of the problem.