Pope Francis has reportedly compared corruption and cover-ups within the Catholic Church to human excrement during a meeting with abuse survivors in Dublin.
The pontiff held a 90-minute private audience with eight people who suffered at the hands of priests, with representatives from the Survivors of Mother and Baby Homes group claiming that he condemned their crimes as "caca".
In a statement, the group said a translator told survivors that the word - used in Spanish and Italian - meant "literally filth as one sees in a toilet".
No confirmation of the precise phrasing was forthcoming from the Vatican, but an official said he would not be surprised if the word had been used.
The meeting came after Francis made a speech at Dublin Castle in which he expressed his regret over historical abuse by Catholic priests in the country - though he did not explicitly apologise.
He said: "I cannot fail to acknowledge the grave scandal caused in Ireland by the abuse of young people by members of the church charged with responsibility for their protection and education - they are still in my heart.
"The failure of ecclesiastical authorities - bishops, religious superiors, priests and others - adequately to address these repellent crimes has rightly given rise to outrage, and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community.
"I myself share those sentiments."
The Catholic Church has been vilified in Ireland after 9,000 reported cases of child abuse by priests - and for a past in which 30,000 single mothers were locked away in Catholic-run institutions.
Francis touched down in Ireland this morning no doubt prepared for what was expected to be a highly-charged two-day trip - the first papal visit to the country since 1979.
During the afternoon, he travelled through the streets of Dublin in the "popemobile", but despite plenty of fanfare the crowds appeared to pale in comparison to those which greeted John Paul II almost 40 years ago.
It was much the same in the evening at the Feast of Families event at Croke Park stadium, with plenty of empty seats dotted around the terraces, despite the presence of some 80,000 people.
The tone of the trip is decidedly less celebratory than that of the 1979 visit, with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar unafraid to refer to "dark aspects of the Catholic Church's history" during his welcome speech at Dublin Castle.
He described clerical child abuse and other such crimes as "stains on our state, our society and also the church".
"These wounds are still open and there is much to be done to bring about justice and truth and healing for victims and survivors," he continued.
"Holy Father, we ask that you use your office and influence to ensure this is done here in Ireland and also around the world. Above all, Holy Father, I ask to you to listen to the victims and survivors."
And despite the best efforts of Francis, who vowed to end the "repugnant" sexual exploitation of children, for some survivors his words were not good enough.
Colm O'Gorman, who organised a rally for victims, said remarks about the shame felt by Catholics were an "insult to faithful Catholics".
He said those people "have no reason to feel shame because of the crimes of the Vatican and the institutional church".
As well as the backdrop of the abuse scandal, the visit of Francis has also highlighted just how much Ireland has changed since the last papal visit, when more than 75% of the population flocked to see the pontiff.
Irish voters chose to relax the country's strict abortion laws in May - a decision that the Pope appeared to push back against in a section of his speech about a "materialistic throwaway culture".
He questioned whether society is "increasingly indifferent to the poor and to most defenceless members of our human family, including the unborn, deprived of the very right to life."
But Mr Varadkar, Ireland's first openly gay prime minister, used his speech to pay tribute to how "increasingly diverse" the country had become.
He told the Pope it was a "different country than it was 39 years ago".
"We have voted in our parliament and by referendum to modernise our laws," he said.
"Understanding that marriages do not always work, that women should make their own decisions, and that families come in many different, wonderful forms - including those headed by a grandparent, lone parent or same-sex partners or parents who are divorced and remarried."
Other features of the Pope's itinerary on his first day in Ireland included a visit to a homeless centre - and he has another busy day in store on Sunday.
The pontiff will board a plane to visit Knock Shrine - a Catholic pilgrimage site in County Mayo - before heading back to the capital for a 3pm mass at Phoenix Park.
More than one million people turned out for mass at the same venue in 1979, but it is expected to be around 500,000 people this time.
Francis will be back at Dublin Airport for a farewell ceremony at 6.30pm and is due to land in Rome at 11pm local time.
:: You can follow day two of his visit live on Sky News on TV, online and on mobile.
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