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Irish bishops to undertake ‘penitential acts’ in reparation for abuse

Catholic World News - March 11, 2010

The bishops of Ireland have agreed to “undertake and lead penitential acts” in their dioceses “to acknowledge the truth and reflect on the failures of the Church” with regard to the clerical abuse of children, according to a March 10 statement issued at the conclusion of the bishops’ spring meeting.

The bishops “reiterated their profound regret and sorrow that the avoidance of scandal and the preservation of the reputations of individuals and of the Church took precedence over the safety and welfare of children,” the statement added.

The Irish bishops also welcomed the March 9 statement of the Holy See Press Office on the clerical abuse of children. “Fr. Lombardi’s statement addresses misinformation which exists in the public domain around the 2001 Letter 'De delictis gravioribus' [‘On grave crimes’],” the bishops noted. “It was made clear to the bishops in Rome that the 2001 Letter in no way precluded Church authorities from their civil obligations especially in regards to reporting and cooperating fully with the civil authorities. This important matter has been consistently misrepresented in some quarters.”

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