Catholic Church at 'breaking point' over abuse

Monday 05 March 2012 10.55
Diarmuid Martin apologises to the victims of child sex abuse during a press conference in 2009
Diarmuid Martin apologises to the victims of child sex abuse during a press conference in 2009

The Catholic Church in Ireland is at "a breaking point" over the child sexual abuse scandals, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.

Dr Martin told CBS's "60 Minutes" programme, which will be broadcast on Sunday, that the crisis is not over.

"60 Minutes" asked Archbishop Martin whether the church here has reached its breaking point.

He responded that it is at a very difficult stage and that this is "enormously" due to the scandals.

The interview will be broadcast as church leaders here await Pope Benedict XVI's response to their invitation to attend June's International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.

Archbishop Martin has already warned that the church in Ireland needs to progress further its radical overhaul and reform before a visit would be of significant benefit.

Without mentioning the visit, he said there is a real danger today of people saying the child abuse scandal is over, that it should be buried and that the church should move on.

But he said the scandal is not over and that the protection of children is something that will go on beyond his lifetime and into the future.

He added that this is because "the problems are there".