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Description: Pope's apology to be published
The Catholic primate Cardinal SeÃ¡n Brady said last night he would â€œwelcomeâ€the letter after celebrating Mass at 10.15 am at Saint Patrickâ€™s Cathedral,Armagh.
The letter will be read at Masses in parishes throughout Ireland this evening and tomorrow, indicating it will not be a lengthy document.
There is exceptional international interest in the letter, which is the first of its kind related to the clerical child sex abuse issue.
Since it was promised on December 11th last, when the Catholic primate Cardinal SeÃ¡n Brady and the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin went to Rome following publication of the Murphy report, there have been extensive revelations of alleged child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Germany, Austria,Brazil, Italy and the Netherlands.
The letter will be sent to each Irish bishop directly by Rome today, for distribution to parishes.It is thought likely the pope will apologise in the letter on behalf of the church to Irish victims of clerical child sex abuse and to the Irish faithful generally for abuse by priests, and for the cover-up by bishops and others in authority in the church.
He may also indicate a willingness to meet a representative group of Irish abuse victims. He will most likely repeat that he â€œshares the outrage, betrayal and shame felt by so many of the faithful in Irelandâ€, as he said last December.
In a statement following his meeting with Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin in December, he said â€œthe Holy See takes very seriously the central issues raised by the report, including questions concerning the governance of local church leaders with ultimate responsibility for the pastoral care of childrenâ€. This has led to speculation that he will address Irish church governance issues in the letter.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Communications Office yesterday gave further details on the oath administered by Cardinal Brady to two teenage boys when conducting his 1975 inquiry into allegations of child sex abuse against Fr Brendan Smyth.
In response to what it said were inaccurate media reports, it pointed out that the wording of the oath read: â€œI [name] hereby swear that I have told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and that I will talk to no one about this interview except authorised priests.â€
It continued that â€œin addition, the following sentence was included in the second oath: â€˜So help me God and these holy Gospels which I touchâ€™.
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A lack of denial is a terrifying thing to encounter by those still immersed in hiding from their own failings.
Hegemony: The authority, dominance, and influence of one group, nation, or society over another group, nation, or society; typically through cultural, economic, or political means..
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