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Pope's Ireland visit: Church 'no longer has trust'

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Media captionArchbishop Eamon Martin spoke at the World Meeting of Families on Wednesday

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has admitted the Church no longer has the trust it once had among Catholics.

Archbishop Eamon Martin blamed clerical sex abuse, which he called "heinous crimes".

He made the comments during a keynote address on the first full day of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin.

The Pope will address the issue when he arrives in Dublin at the weekend.

On Wednesday, Archbishop Martin focused on the importance of family life, and stuck rigidly to the Church's teaching that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman.

However, he admitted the institution faced a challenge to get its message across in the modern world.

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Image caption Pope Francis is due to visit Dublin at the weekend

He said: "In the aftermath of child abuse scandals and other shameful episodes of the past, there are those who feel they can no longer trust our message.

"Perhaps because they have been directly hurt and betrayed in their families by their experience of Church, or because the revelations of such heinous crimes have shocked them to the core.

"We must work together with all people of goodwill to encourage the state to support the family, and especially the uniqueness of the faithful and exclusive union between a married man and a woman as a cherished space for the bearing and upbringing of children."

Image caption Archbishop Eamon Martin focused on the importance of family life during his speech

Earlier on Wednesday, campaigners representing clerical child abuse survivors held a protest outside Belfast City Hall during which children's shoes were tied to the front gates of the building.

They said the Pope needed to do more to help survivors of abuse.

Image caption Children's shoes were tied to gates of Belfast City Hall by campaigners

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