Top clerics to meet pope over sex abuse report

The country's most senior Catholic clerics are due to meet the Pope tomorrow to discuss the fall-out from the child abuse inquiry in the Dublin Archdiocese.

Cardinal Sean Brady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will hold talks with the Pontiff in the Vatican with other leading church figures.

It is understood Pope Benedict and the heads of five Vatican departments will attend the meeting with the Cardinal and the Archbishop.

The two clerics were summoned by the Pope.

Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray, who was severely criticised in the Murphy report for inexcusable mishandling of complaints against a paedophile priest, is understood to be preparing to resign.

Two others, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin Eamon Walsh and Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan, have insisted they have done nothing wrong.

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference last night asked for forgiveness over the Church cover-up of paedophile priests.

Formally apologising over abuse and mishandling of allegations in the Dublin Archdiocese, the clergymen said they would open talks with child welfare inspectors to audit Church protection policy.

Bishops will ask the independent National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCC) to explore how policy and practice to safeguard children can be assessed.

Government departments and authorities in the Republic and the North will also be consulted.

The bishops also accepted the damning findings of the Murphy inquiry.

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