Pope Shares 'Shame' Felt By Irish

After a meeting with Ireland's most influential clergy today, Pope Benedict has said he shared the "shame" felt by the Irish people over the findings of the Murphy Report into clerical abuse.

The statement followed a meeting with Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady along with Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.

The Vatican added that the pope was "disturbed and distressed" by the contents of the report.

The Murphy Report has already claimed the job of one Bishop, Donal Murray, who remains at the Vatican after tendering his resignation.

The report into child sex abuse within the Archdiocese of Dublin shocked the public last week by revealing its investigation left no doubt clerical child abuse was covered up by the Archdiocese and other Church authorities and detailed a litany of abuse perpetrated by priests against more than 300 victims.

The pontiff said he would write a pastoral letter to the Irish people about sexual abuse in Ireland and the Vatican's response to the crisis.

The report rubbished the view put forward by the Church that the abuse was hidden from view and somehow took Church authorities by surprise.

The news comes as the Government today announces plans to stump €15 million to support survivors of abuse who came to light in the equally damning Ryan Report, published earlier this year.

That report detailed a huge number of instances of abuse within Church owned reformatory institutions, and has already led to several Catholic orders handing over in excess of €500 million in cash and property in compensation.

Speaking yesterday evening, Minister Andrews said: "I said last July that words alone were cold comfort to survivors.

"I am confident that today's announcement will support survivors of abuse through the provision of additional counselling services and will help to improve services for children today through the recruitment of social workers and other supports that will be put in place next year.

"I am hopeful that the allocation of €15 million in these straightened times is proof of the Government’s and my commitment to improving children's services."


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