Pope’s shame, remorse over Irish child sex abuse, victims want more
Pope Benedict apologized on Saturday to victims of child sex abuse by clergy in Ireland and ordered an official inquiry there to try to stem a scandal gripping the Catholic Church which has swept across Europe. The pope’s pronouncement on abuse at Irish dioceses and seminaries was the most concrete step taken since a wave of cases hit Ireland, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.
Victims in Ireland voiced deep disappointment it did not go further, and a U.S.-based Catholic group said it should have addressed abuses across the Church rather than just in Ireland.
In a letter addressed to the people, bishops, priests and victims of child sex abuse in the overwhelmingly Catholic country, the pope did not make specific reference to Churches in other countries, particularly hiss native Germany. “You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry … I openly express the shame and remorse that we all feel,” he said.
Irish victims accused the pope of evading the question of Vatican responsibility in the long-awaited, eight-page letter. “We feel the letter falls far short of addressing the concerns of the victims,” Maeve Lewis of the group One in Four told Reuters. She said it focused too narrowly on Irish Catholic leaders without scrutinizing the role of the Vatican.