The Pope's "Horror"
The Irish bishops have been on their ad limina visit these last two weeks; the Irish government's comprehensive report on abuse in the church bears the name of the diocese.
What the Pope said:
The Holy Father expressed to Bishop Brennan his deep sorrow and distress at the suffering endured by the victims of child sexual abuse involving some priests of the Diocese of Ferns. He asked Bishop Brennan to assure those, who have been sexually abused by priests, of his concern for them and his deep regret at the harm and suffering they have experienced. His prayer at this time is for healing and peace of all those who have suffered.Coverage from the RTE and the Irish Times.
Pope Benedict also asked Bishop Brennan to convey to all the faithful of the Diocese of Ferns, his care and solicitude for them, as supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.
The Holy Father expressed prayerful solidarity with the lay-faithful, religious and priests of Ferns in the sufferings they have endured and in the deep pain caused by the scandal of sexual abuse of the young, by some of those entrusted with the sacred ministry.
Pope Benedict expressed his own personal anguish and horror at the incomprehensible behaviour of those clergy, whose actions have devastated human lives and profoundly betrayed the trust of children, young people, their families, parish communities and the entire diocesan family.