Wherever they went, participants at the World Meeting of Families couldn’t escape the pall cast by the abuse scandal that has reared its head in the Catholic Church once again.

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VATICAN – While the faith of Catholics in Ireland is strong, the scandal of abuse and cover-up by church leaders has caused a decline in vocations to the priesthood and religious life, Pope Francis said.
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DUBLIN – Pope Francis spent 90 minutes meeting privately with eight survivors of sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy or in Catholic-run schools and institutions.
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KNOCK, Ireland – On a foggy, soggy day at a Marian shrine in County Mayo, Pope Francis said he prayed before a statue of Our Lady of Knock for all those who suffered sexual and physical abuse by Catholic clergy or in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland.
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DUBLIN – God wants every person to love and be loved, creating a family or community where love is nurtured and shared with all who are poor, lonely or in need, Pope Francis said.
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VATICAN – Pope Francis is traveling to Ireland specifically for the World Meeting of Families, but the sex abuse crisis is dominating headlines before his Aug. 25-26 trip.
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DUBLIN, Ireland – Former Irish President Mary McAleese has said that the baptism of infants is a form of coercion, calling on the Catholic Church to change its practice.
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If tradition is the democracy of the dead, as G.K. Chesterton famously said, surely abortion has become a tyranny of the living over life past and future.

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DUBLIN – President Michael D. Higgins of Ireland described the treatment of women and children in state-controlled institutions managed by the Catholic Church as a "deep stain on Ireland's past."
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DUBLIN – An Irish bishop said he hopes Pope Francis' August visit can help bring healing after a divisive referendum that will pave the way for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks' gestation.
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DUBLIN – Voters in Ireland have opted to remove the right to life of the unborn from the country's constitution, paving the way for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks.
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DUBLIN – Irish bishops used Pentecost Sunday Masses to make a final appeal for people to reject a government proposal to remove the right to life of unborn children from the country's constitution and pave the way for abortion up to 12 weeks' gestation.
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DUBLIN – Pro-life activists have launched a campaign urging citizens to vote no in a forthcoming referendum to remove the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. That amendment provides legal protection for unborn children "with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother."
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DUBLIN, Ireland – Besides a shortage of vocations, Irish priests are facing an even more harrowing kind of crisis.

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DUBLIN, Ireland – Ireland's Catholic bishops have praised a Supreme Court decision in the country that will allow asylum seekers to find work while their status is being decided.

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