Final preparations are under way ahead of the Pope’s arrival in Ireland on Saturday.
The Pontiff will visit the country for a whistlestop tour of Dublin and Co Mayo.
The Papal mass on Sunday, which is the centrepiece of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), will draw in a crowd of half a million people.
The WMOF pastoral congress has seen tens of thousands of people from over 110 countries flood through the doors of the Royal Society Dublin, however it is an event that has been overshadowed by the Catholic Church’s treatment of sex abuse survivors.
Pope Francis has said he will meet with victims of clerical sex abuse in private when he visits, however other survivors, campaigners and the wider public will be waiting to hear whether he will address these issues in public.
It comes after abuse victim Marie Collins told a session on safeguarding children at the WMOF members of clergy and lay people in the Catholic Church believe abuse scandals are a “media conspiracy”.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis wrote a 2,000-word letter to Catholics in which he condemned the crime of sexual abuse by priests and subsequent cover-ups.
The Pope demanded accountability in response to new revelations in the United States of decades of misconduct by the Catholic Church.
Speaking about the letter, Ms Collins said: “Survivors and victims of abuse don’t need a letter from the Pope to know this is a reality. We’ve been speaking about this for decades.”
She also told delegates that Canon Law had been used to protect and not punish offenders.
While Ms Collins made her speech, other clerical abuse victims called for a zero tolerance approach to be taken against priests involved in abuse scandals.
The global survivors group also proposed a list of abusive priests be made public in an effort to protect others.
Members of the Ending Clerical Abuse (ECA) group – aimed at holding the Catholic Church to account for clerical sex abuse – gathered in Dublin on Friday to recount their abuse stories on the eve of the Pope’s visit to Ireland.
ECA founder Peter Isley said that priesthood was the only occupation in civil society where you can “rape and sexually assault children” and remain within that occupation.
Meanwhile, pilgrims flooded Dublin Airport just hours before the Pope touches down.
A spokesman for Dublin International Airport said there has been a huge amount of planning with stakeholders and state agencies to ensure the Pontiff’s arrival goes smoothly.
More than half a million people will travel to see Pope Francis and Gardai are urging the public to use public transport to attend events in Dublin and Knock.
A number of park-and-ride hubs are being set up to facilitate the huge crowds as most roads will be closed in Dublin city centre on Saturday and Sunday to cater for the numbers.