Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI: will probably be best remembered for his Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland


Sex abuse Where Ireland is concerned, Pope Benedict XVI will probably be best remembered for his Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland in 2010, following publication of the Murphy report the previous November.

The letter was unequivocal in its sympathy for victims of clerical child sex abuse and for what Irish Catholics had been through, but also in its criticisms of Irish church leadership.

It was followed by seven high-powered apostolic visitations to the four Irish Catholic archdioceses, the seminaries and religious congregations. The focus seemed to be on orthodoxy and on bringing the Irish church back into line, though few outside the church believed this was relevant to the abuse scandals.

As pope he has been proactive in his dealings with this issue, which so dominated his papacy. On all his trips abroad he has met abuse victims and has seen to it that the church is putting in place adequate child protection measures.

IRELAND

- Irish Times, PATSY McGARRY