Irish-born Bishop David O’Connell, auxiliary of Los Angeles, believes that Pope Francis’s Aug. 25-26 visit to the Emerald Island will face a “shadow” cast by a growing number of clerical sexual abuse scandals around the world.

Partly for that reason, the pontiff may face “an impossible task,” he told Crux on Sunday.

The bishop is currently in Ireland after leading some 45 people from his archdiocese in a pilgrimage through Ireland, which wrapped only days before the beginning of the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families.

“I’ve even heard some people say maybe it just wasn’t the right time to bring the pope to Ireland,” O’Connell said. “And I feel very bad for him, because he wants to come and reaffirm the Church’s commitment to the poor and the marginalized, show the compassion of Jesus Christ, to show the heart of Jesus to the people.”

According to the prelate, a reminder of Jesus’ compassion is what the world needs most right now, but “everybody wants for him to come and talk about the terrible suffering, and it has been terrible. And it has to come out, and hopefully it will lead to some healing, and to the possibility of new life.”

Full story at Angelus News.