"It's a story all too tragically familiar here in Ireland".
He was speaking after Irish PM Leo Varadkar said the failures of the Church, the state and wider society had created a "bitter and broken heritage for so many, leaving a legacy of pain and suffering". A gathering for victims of clergy abuse is planned for the same time as the papal Mass on Sunday.
To conclude, Pope Francis expressed his desire that any socio-political issue decision in modern-day Ireland not be made without recalling the Christian message that sustained it in the past and can assist it in the future.
POPE FRANCIS " With regard to the most vulnerable, I can not fail to acknowledge the grave scandal caused in Ireland by the abuse of young people by members of the Church charged with responsibility for their protection and education".
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"With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives", Francis said.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar addressed the pope on Saturday as Francis began the first papal visit to Ireland in almost four decades.
Meanwhile gardaí are urging all attending the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park on Sunday to enter and leave using the colour coded routes as outlined as on their tickets.
The pontiff's arrival at Dublin airport on Saturday comes amid declining religious observance in the traditionally Catholic country and anger over the Catholic Church's record on tackling sexual abuse by priests. The location is Tuam, site of a mass grave in a sewage area of hundreds of babies who died over the years at a church-run home.
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Before leaving for North Korea, Lee said she wanted to ask her son "how he grew up without his mom and how his father raised him".
Spokesman Greg Burke told reporters at a briefing on the August 25-26 trip the details of the meeting would not be announced until after it was over and it would be up to the victims if they wanted to speak afterwards.
Varadkar later said in a tweet that he hopes the pope's visit can open a new chapter in the relationship between Ireland and the church.
Since then, patterns of widespread abuse of children have been reported across the United States and Europe, in Chile and Australia, undercutting the Church's moral authority and taking a toll on its membership and coffers.
They set children's shoes on the pavement, each representing a child who had been abused by priests.
The Vatican has said Francis will meet Irish victims of clergy sexual abuse, but the pope will also be under pressure to address the recent scandals that have led to the Church's worst credibility crisis in more than 15 years.
Francis is visiting Ireland for the first time since 1980, when he was known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio and stayed for a time in a Dublin suburb to learn English. "We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them".
The Pope is expected to meet abuse survivors later on Saturday.
Meanwhile, memories of Ireland's own abuse scandal are still vivid. But Francis cited Benedict XVI's call for "truly evangelical, just and effective" measures to be taken in response to the "betrayal of trust" caused by abuse.
"What I would like to see when the Pope comes to Ireland, is to come out, not make these sort of 'we're sorry, ' type of statements, but to tell us what is he going to do - and do it", Collins, who was assaulted by a priest when she was 13, told CNN.