Pope to conclude historic bishops meeting

THE Pope will today conclude his historic two-day emergency meeting with Irish bishops in Rome, at which the fallout from the Murphy report into allegations of the rape and abuse of 320 children by 46 priests in the Dublin Archdiocese, is top of the agenda.

Yesterday, the Pope’s second-in-command, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, said clergy who had sinned must admit blame for “abominable acts”.

He urged Irish Catholics not to let clerical child abuse scandals shake their faith. In a concelebrated Mass he told the bishops they must move from humiliation to humility to renew their Church.

“You have all come here together, the entire Irish Episcopate, to listen to the Successor of Peter and to present to him your views regarding this most difficult crisis in the Church in your country”.

The cardinal told the 24 Irish bishops that tests such as this crisis are painful and humiliating but that the bishops “must accept God’s will” with a “good and faithful heart in order to receive the full force of renewal”.

Cardinal Bertone said: “Challenges that come from within (the Catholic Church) are naturally harder and humiliating. Every kind of challenge can become a reason for purification and sanctification as long as it is illuminated by faith.”

Armagh Archbishop Sean Brady, the primate of all Ireland, told Vatican Radio the two days of meetings were part of a “journey of repentance, reconciliation and renewal”.

A letter from abuse survivor John Kelly was expected to be given to the Pope by the bishops.

In the letter, Mr Kelly said the Vatican must compensate the State for the fallout from the revelations. He also called for the Pontiff to set-up a special commission to investigate the misconduct of religious orders and the priests who carried out the abuse.


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