Pope Francis vowed on Saturday to end the sexual exploitation of children by clergy during a highly-charged visit to once deeply Catholic Ireland and, according to victims, said the corruption and cover up of abuse amounted to human excrement.
Pope Francis may have a global reputation for humility and integrity.
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".
RTÉ News noted that that the meeting raised the situation faced by survivors of Mother and Baby homes and of forced and illegal adoption in Ireland in 2018.
The highlight of the visit will be an outdoor mass in the city's Phoenix Park on Sunday, expected to draw 500,000 people - a tenth of the country's entire population.
He will visit a homeless centre, before attending this evening's Feast of Families event at Croke Park stadium.
Previously, Nathan Carter took to the stage accompanied by a choir to perform "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.
Savia, a group of survivors and victims of institutional abuse, set up a protest outside Dublin Castle, on the route of the popemobile.
Pope Francis also took the opportunity to reiterate the Church's zero-tolerance policy when addressing sexual abuse.
More than 37,000 people, majority young Catholics, signed up to attend a Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families that ends Sunday in Dublin, more than twice the number of a rally in Philadelphia three years ago.
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Irish Prime Leo Varadkar, who past year became the country's first gay leader, told Francis that the wounds of clerical child abuse that stained the Irish state were still open and there was much to be done to bring about justice and healing for victims.
In an apparent reference to the political deadlock in Northern Ireland, which has seen the region without a properly functioning devolved government for 20 months, Francis said: "We can give thanks for the two decades of peace that followed this historic agreement, while expressing firm hope that the peace process will overcome every remaining obstacle and help give birth to a future of harmony, reconciliation and mutual trust".
He said the changes meant the time had come "for us to build a new, more mature relationship between church and state in Ireland - a new covenant for the 21st century".
Francis' trip to Ireland, the first papal visit in 39 years, comes on the heels of a damning report released last week by a grand jury in Pennsylvania that found 300 Catholic priests across the state had abused more than 1,000 children in the past 70 years.
In Tuam, a town in western Ireland, a silent vigil was planned in solidarity with victims of "mother and baby" homes - institutions accused of being punishment hostels for unwed pregnant women.
Earlier this month, the Vatican was rocked by a devastating USA report accused more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania state of abusing more than 1,000 children since the 1950s.
Francis' first speech in Ireland on Saturday is an address to Irish government officials and civil society, where he will likely refer to the scandal.
That history of abuse has left its mark.
He later delivered remarks which echoed a letter he sent to the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics this week, condemning the "atrocities" of child abuse and clerical cover-ups.
On Sunday he is due to visit the Marian shrine at Knock, where a vision of the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to villagers in 1879, before conducting a Papal Mass in Phoenix Park.