I think I disagree: for personal sins, for our personal failings, then yes, of course. And if penance is done in order to parade our virtue, then certainly private penance is the right thing, as our Lord suggests.
But for public sins and failings, there should be public reparation. This might just do some urgently needed repair work.
And, as a parishioner commented to me: what a historic moment that would be, for the entire hierarchy of Ireland to undertake penance together. Like Henry II scourged at Becket's tomb, or the Emperor kneeling in the snow.
I would bet that, did the hierarchy make a date to ascend Croagh Patrick together, half the Island would join them. This is not a time for hand-wringing, but for decisive Christian leadership. Are the Irish bishops to abandon their people yet again?