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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Benedict XVI to write pastoral letter to Irish Catholics

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The Catholic News Service reports on the Irish Church leaders’ meeting with Pope Benedict XVI today:

Pope Benedict XVI shares ‘the outrage, betrayal and shame’ felt by Irish Catholics over cases of clerical sexual abuse and the way abuse claims were handled by church leaders, and he plans to write a special pastoral letter to the Catholics of Ireland, the Vatican said.

The letter ‘will clearly indicate the initiatives that are to be taken in response to the situation’, said a statement issued by the Vatican on December 11. The statement was released after the pope and top Vatican officials spent 90 minutes meeting with Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, president of the Irish bishops’ conference, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.

Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said Pope Benedict approved the statement, which “obviously reflects his style and tone” in discussing revelations about clerical sex abuse.

The spokesman said he was not sure when the letter would be ready, but he expected it fairly soon since the pope wanted to respond to the sense of outrage and hurt Irish Catholics currently are experiencing.

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Written by Luke Coppen

December 11, 2009 at 3:35 pm

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