News / Europe

Pope Apoligizes for 'Generations' of Sex Abuse by Irish Catholic Clergy

Pope Benedict has written to Catholics in Ireland to apologize for the sexual abuses carried out by the clergy in that country over the past decades. He ordered an investigation into the Irish church but stopped short of admitting any Vatican responsibility. Irish victims of the abuses said they are deeply disappointed with the letter.

Click to Listen:

Download/Play Audio File


It's the first letter by a pope that deals entirely with pedophilia. Pope Benedict's 7-page missive is addressed to the Catholics of Ireland - specifically to the victims of child abuse, to their parents, to the priests, brothers and nuns who were involved in the abuses and to the church leadership in Ireland.

Pope Benedict said he feels shame and remorse for what the victims of the abuse have endured. He acknowledged the sense of betrayal they have suffered and recognized that in many cases no one listened to them when they finally found the courage to speak out.  And he asked the victims not to lose hope.

The head of the Irish Church, Cardinal Sean Brady, who himself has come under fire with accusations of failing to do enough, read the pope's letter out Saturday in church in Armagh, Northern Ireland.

"It is evident from the pastoral letter that Pope Benedict is deeply dismayed by what he refers to as sinful and criminal acts at the way the church authorities in Ireland dealt with them," he said.

In the letter Pope Benedict said many church leaders committed grave errors by failing to respond to allegations of child sex abuse by priests. He said serious mistakes were made and this has led to a loss of credibility of the church.

Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi said the pope uses very strong language against those who are guilty of the abuses and who must answer for their sinful and criminal acts before God and before tribunals.

The pope announced there would be a formal Vatican investigation of Irish dioceses, seminaries and religious orders. He also said he was willing to meet the victims to acknowledge their suffering personally.

But Irish victims of the abuses expressed their disappointment.  The Irish clerical-abuse victims group, "One in Four,"  said the letter falls short of addressing concerns of the victims and also criticized the fact the Vatican does not take responsibility for what occurred and that no specific punishment is laid out for the bishops who knew and the priests involved in the abuses.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid