The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has said that Pope Francis will have to address the question of abuse in the Catholic Church's history when he visits here next month.

Pope Francis will visit Ireland for two days on 25 and 26 August, coinciding with the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families event.

The Pontiff is scheduled to visit Knock in Co Mayo, as well as keeping a number of engagements in Dublin.

He will also visit Dublin Castle and the Pro-Cathedral, before a private visit to the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless Families.

Speaking on RTE's Marian Finucane programme, Archbishop Martin said it is important that Pope Francis does not address it as part of the Church's history but as part of the present because the wounds are there and new wounds are emerging.

Archbishop Martin said that if he had been asked two years ago, he would have been talking about institutions and abuse by clergy.

But now, he said there is the Magdalene Laundries, the Mother and Baby homes and a whole series of other places where abuse is emerging as a sad dimension of the way the Church developed.

The World Meeting of Families takes place every three years and the event in Dublin will be the second that Pope Francis has attended during his papacy.

Archbishop Martin said the visit was a very big event for Ireland and a real showcase for the country demonstrating a different Ireland, a place of tolerance. 

He said Pope Francis recognises that Ireland has changed and that is one of the reasons he is coming. 

Asked about the Pope's reaction to the same-sex marriage and abortion referendums, he said Pope Francis never got involved but there was surprise at the numbers who voted in favour of the proposals.

Dr Martin said that when former US president Barack Obama and the Queen visited Ireland, they said something by their presence.

However he said the difference with Pope Francis, was that people wanted to hear what he had to say and that will be important.

The Pope does not speak English and Archbishop Martin said that would make his presentation style more challenging, but he said there would be English text displayed on screens at events.

On the 'Say Nope to the Pope' protest which has block booked tickets to events, Dr Martin said everyone had a right to protest but blocking someone who really wanted to attend was not the way to go. 

Asked about the dropping of references to same-sex families in promotional material for the World Meeting of Families promotional material, he said there was discomfort with one picture that he said would have given the impression that the events were "only about gays". 

He said he took responsibility for that and he added that non-traditional families were welcome.

Dr Martin said that he thought the Catholic Church's phrase "intrinsically disordered" was an unfortunate one to describe homosexuality and he said they had to get rid of language that was offensive.