DUBLIN, Ireland, NOV. 14, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The apostolic visitor to the Archdiocese of Dublin has acknowledged the work that has already been done in responding to the sexual abuse crisis there, and reports that his task is to “bring new eyes to the situation.”
Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston and apostolic visitor to the Archdiocese of Dublin, spoke today at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin, saying that he was “honored” to have been chosen to be the visitor to the archdiocese.
Benedict XVI called for an apostolic visitation to four dioceses in the country in response to the sexual abuse crisis that exploded there last year. The first stage of the visit is expected to be completed by Easter 2011.
Cardinal O’Malley reflected in his comments on his Irish roots, noting that both his mothers’ and fathers’ families emigrated from Ireland. He said the two families left most of their personal possessions in Ireland, but what they didn’t leave behind was their “Catholic faith and their great love for Ireland. I was raised with both.”
“And it is with that same love for the Irish people that I come to this visitation,” the cardinal continued. “I have come to listen, not to offer a quick fix. I come to listen to your pain, your anger, but also your hopes and aspirations.”
Cardinal O’Malley affirmed that the visit to Ireland is “a pastoral visit to assist the Church here on the path to renewal.”
“In Dublin,” he added, “much has been done already to address the crimes of the past and to develop sound policies to ensure the safety of children and to provide assistance to the victims of child abuse. The task of the Visitation is to bring new eyes to the situation, to verify the effectiveness of the present processes used in responding to cases of abuse.
“We are not here to reduplicate investigations or studies of the past. We are here to be available to meet with some of those who have been harmed by abuse and wish to meet with us. We will attempt to communicate to them the apologies of a contrite Church and the pastoral solicitude of the Holy Father.
“Likewise, we will try to assess how well the guidelines of Safeguarding Children, produced by the National Board, are working.”
The cardinal said he hopes to meet with as many of the victims as possible, as well as the bishops, the priests and religious and the laity of the archdiocese.
“Anyone who wishes to share their testimony can contact me through the Apostolic Nunciature here in Dublin, to request an appointment, or submit their thoughts in written form, also through the Nunciature,” he stated.
“Please pray,” the cardinal added, “that this visitation will be helpful to the people of Ireland, will advance the safety of children in society as a whole and promote the healing and reconciliation that we all desire.”
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