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Irish visitation results to be made public soon

March 07, 2012

The Vatican will soon release the reports prepared during an apostolic visitation of the Church in Ireland, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has disclosed.

In the wake of the sex-abuse scandal in Ireland, Pope Benedict XVI ordered apostolic visitations for each of the country’s four archdioceses, for the seminaries, and for religious orders. The visitation teams completed their reports and submitted them to the Vatican last year, but the results have not been made public.

Late last year, unconfirmed rumors suggested that the visitations would call for a sharp reduction in the number of dioceses in Ireland. There are now 26 dioceses: an extraordinarily high number for a country of only 4.6 million people. Four Irish sees are currently vacant, and the Vatican has been slow to appoint new bishops, fueling suspicions that a restructuring may soon take place.

When he said that the results of the visitations would “soon” be made known, Archbishop Martin did not give any more precise information.


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