Taoiseach suggests Pope must follow up words with action

Latest: The Taoiseach has said Pope Francis must follow up his words with actions.

Taoiseach suggests Pope must follow up words with action

Update 9.28pm: The Taoiseach has said Pope Francis must follow up his words with actions.

Leo Varadkar was responding the pontiff's promise this week to end the church's cover-ups of clerical sex abuse.

The Taoiseach's comments come ahead of his meeting with Pope Francis this weekend.

Speaking to TV3 News, Mr Varadkar said the Pope's letter needs to be followed up with a new approach.

"One thing I feel very strongly about is that where the Church authorities become aware of child sex abuse they need to report that to the child protection authorities"

Earlier: Taoiseach to tell Pope LGBT Catholics ‘excluded from church’

The Taoiseach wants to tell Pope Francis that many Catholics from an LGBT background feel “excluded” from the church.

Leo Varadkar is expected to meet the pontiff at Dublin Castle on Saturday.

He told RTÉ: “There are a lot of people who are devout Catholics who very much believe in their Catholic faith but feel excluded from the church because of the treatment of women and the rules around how women can participate in the church, because they are from an LGBT background or because they are divorced, for example.

“I know that really hurts for them because there is a conflict between who they are and the rules of the faith which they follow and certainly if I have the opportunity to speak to Pope Francis I will want to relay that message.”

Mr Varadkar said he wanted to do so in a fashion that respects freedom of religion in Ireland.

He added: “It is not the role of the head of Government to ask any church or any religious group, Catholic, Christian or non-Christian, to change its faith.”

- Press Association & Digital Desk

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