Irish bishops, pope meet over sex scandal

Feb. 16, 2010 at 10:09 AM
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VATICAN CITY, Italy, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The Vatican's call for sexually abusive clergy in Ireland to atone for their acts doesn't go far enough, some victims of abuse said.

"This is not an Irish problem. This is a Catholic Church worldwide problem," Michael O'Brien, an abuse victim in Ireland, told The Times of London in a story published Tuesday.

Monday, in Rome, Ireland's 24 Roman Catholic bishops met with Pope Benedict XVI for crisis talks on how to react to a report from the Archdiocese of Dublin that concluded the church hierarchy had protected abusive priests from prosecution.

"Yes, storms spark fear, even those that rock the boat of the Church because of the sins of its members," Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, told the bishops in a sermon Monday.

Bertone said the scandal was "more humiliating" because it involved priests of the church committing "particularly abominable acts."

In an letter to the pope, victim support groups in Ireland called for the resignation of bishops who protected abusive priests.

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