Read the statement of the Irish Bishops Conference on the Ryan report issued after their June 2009 meeting. Also includes podcast which features the Dublin solidarity march.

This podcast made available from Vatican Radio

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Discussion on the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Report

At their June 2009 General Meeting, the Irish Bishops Conference discussed the failure of Church institutions to protect children and to prevent the extensive level of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and neglect, as documented by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Report, by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, published on 20 May last.

The Ryan Report represents the most recent disturbing indictment of a culture that was prevalent in the Catholic Church in Ireland for far too long. Heinous crimes were perpetrated against the most innocent and vulnerable, and vile acts with life-lasting effects were carried out under the guise of the mission of Jesus Christ. This abuse represents a serious betrayal of the trust which was placed in the Church. For this we ask forgiveness. We are ashamed, humbled and repentant that our people strayed so far from their Christian ideals.

At our meeting we devoted a lot of time discussing the Report. While we need time to reflect on the detail of the report, and we offer the following as an initial response as a Conference:

– Our first reaction is a heavy sadness at the suffering of so many for so long.

– We wish to invite survivors to engage with us to see how we can assist those who have been abused.

– We wish to respond as pastors despite the inadequacies at times of our previous pastoral responses.

– We urge the whole Church community to join with us in praying for the well being and peace of mind for all who suffered.

Meetings of Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin in the Holy See

Bishops reflected on the visit of Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin to Rome and their meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on Friday. Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin informed the Holy Father, and the heads of the Rome Congregations, on the content and impact of the Ryan report and other issues facing the Irish Church.

The Holy Father once again urged the Bishops and all in the Church-

  • to continue to establish the truth of what happened and why;
  • to ensure that justice is done for all;
  • to see that measures put in place to prevent abuse from happening again are fully applied, and,
  • to help to bring healing to the survivors of abuse.