Dublin awaits Pope Francis with mixture of pride and pain

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Tens of thousands expected to line streets, but visit takes place under shadow of sexual abuse

Pope Francis will touch down at Dublin airport on Saturday morning for a 36-hour trip to a country whose national identity was once steeped in conservative Catholicism but which has undergone a social revolution in the four decades since the last papal visit.

His historic trip, only the second by a serving pope, comes under the dark shadow of sexual abuse by Irish priests and cover-up by senior church figures with which Ireland is still struggling to come to terms. The visit will also put Francis in a global spotlight as the Vatican is reeling from scandals this year in the US, Australia and Chile.

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