This is either the best or the worst time for a papal visit to Ireland. It’s easy to understand why it might be the worst. Consider these news stories from just the past week:

■ A grand jury report on six dioceses in Pennsylvania found that 300 priests had abused more than 1,000 people over a 70-year period.

■ The US bishops urged the Vatican to formally investigate how Theodore McCarrick was able to become Cardinal Archbishop of Washington DC despite warnings that he was a sexual predator.

■ Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston withdrew from the World Meeting of Families in Dublin to investigate claims of sexual misconduct at his archdiocesan seminary.

■ Police raided the offices of the Chilean bishops’ conference amid suspicions of an abuse cover-up.

■ Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson was ordered to serve a maximum 12-month sentence in home detention for concealing abuse.

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