Sex-abuse scandals involving priests have shaken Ireland but is that enough to break the grip of the Catholic Church? Of the various crises the Catholic Church is facing around the world, the central one — wave after wave of accounts of systemic sexual abuse of children by priests and other church figures — has affected Ireland more strikingly than anywhere else. And no place has reacted so aggressively. The Irish responded to the publication in 2009 of two lengthy, damning reports with anger, disgust, vocal assaults on priests in public and demands that the government and society disentangle themselves from the church.