Pontiff Urges "Deep Examination" in Ireland

Prelates Meet With Him About Abuse Cases

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MAYNOOTH, Ireland, JUNE 9, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is calling for a «deep examination» of the life of the Church in Ireland, according to the archbishop of Dublin who met with the Pope on Friday regarding last month’s report of the widespread abuse of children in Ireland’s Catholic schools.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin affirmed that the Holy Father was «visibly upset» when he was presented by the prelates with the details contained in what has come to be called the Ryan report (after the head of the commission that compiled it). The report was released May 20 and informs on decades of abuse.

Archbishop Martin and Cardinal Sean Brady, archbishop of Armagh, met today with bishops in Maynooth and recounted their Friday meeting with the Pontiff. The two prelates released a statement to the press after today’s meeting.

Cardinal Brady said Benedict XVI had «listened very carefully, very attentively, very sympathetically to what we had to say and he said in reply that this was a time for deep examination of life here in Ireland in the Church.»

The cardinal said the Holy Father called for establishing the truth of what happened and putting in place measures that will prevent it from happening again.

Archbishop Martin added: «[The Pope] was very visibly upset, I would say, to hear of some of the things that are told in the Ryan report, how the children had suffered from the very opposite of an expression of the love of God.»

The archbishop noted that Cardinal Brady met Monday with the Conference of the Religious of Ireland to tell them about the Vatican meeting. He clarified: «We want to avoid any idea that we are in conflict with the [conference of religious] and the many congregations that belong to it, or indeed with many religious who have done exemplary service in the country.»

Religious congregations are at the heart of the report, given that many of them sponsored the schools where the abuse took place.

The Dublin prelate went on to say that the message they brought back from the Vatican is the need to listen: «We have to listen to the victims, we have to listen to the survivors; they’re the ones who have gone through this.»

He added that dialogue with the Vatican would continue.

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