Look at the statements and homilies made by some of the Irish bishops yesterday following their two-day meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, and one thing will be perfectly obvious: they just don't understand the problem.
There is plenty there about sin and repentance, God's loving and healing mercy, and the evil of abuse of children -- and of course, mention of guidelines which prevent it happening again. But what none of them mentions is the culture of collusion and cover-up which prevented the priest perpetrators being dealt with until at least the mid-1990s.
Nothing about the decades of denial. No mention of clericalism. Not one reference to institutional idolatry.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin gets it. "I believe what happened in this diocese of Dublin the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond was an appalling thing. I've said it was handled appallingly badly. The result was that children suffered and you have to say that unconditionally."
He thinks all the former Dublin auxiliaries at the time of the Murphy report should offer their resignations -- not because they were responsible for the policies which brushed allegations under the carpet, but because they did nothing to challenge those policies and that culture. They were complicit by omission, if not by commission. And anyway, their resignation is the only concrete way the Church can repent of that culture and show it has changed.
But Dr Martin's approach was defeated in Rome, and the other bishops returned home happy. Only one has had his offer to resign accepted. And from what they said yesterday, it doesn't look as if anything happened in Rome to shake them out of their denial.
That leaves the Pope's pastoral letter to the Irish people, expected mid-March. But if that doesn't confront the core sin identified by Murphy, the chances of trust being restored in the Church look slim indeed.
It's just as well Lent lasts 40 days.