Irish News

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Pope 'visibly upset' at horror uncovered by Ryan inquiry

ED CARTY and JOHN COONEY

Published 09/06/2009 | 00:00

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Dr Diarmuid Martin and Cardinal Sean Brady speaking to the media yesterday in Maynooth College

POPE Benedict was "visibly upset" by horrific revelations of sexual, physical and emotional torture of children uncovered by the Ryan inquiry, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin revealed yesterday.

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The Pontiff also told Ireland's two most senior Catholic clerics that the victims of abuse must get justice.

In a Vatican meeting with Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin last Friday, Pope Benedict reiterated his call for the Church hierarchy to make amends to the thousands of children who suffered at the hands of abusive priests, brothers and nuns.

"He (the Pope) was very visibly upset to hear of some of the things told in the Ryan report and how the children had suffered from the very opposite of the expression of a love of God," the Archbishop said.

Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin briefed the country's bishops in Maynooth on the 45-minute meeting with the Pontiff and on separate talks with seven cardinals in the Holy See last week.

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Devastating

The two archbishops outlined to the Catholic leaders the devastating findings of the report along with the subsequent fallout and criticisms of 18 religious orders.

Cardinal Brady said: "He (the Pope) listened very attentively, very sympathetically to what we had to say and he said in reply that this was a time for deep examination of life here in Ireland and the Church."

The Cardinal, Primate of All-Ireland, said the Pope also discussed the steps needed to respond to the harrowing catalogue of abuse.

"Establish what is the truth of what happened -- and the Ryan report is an important part of that -- to ensure that justice is done for all; and put in place the measures that will prevent these events ever happening again with a view to healing -- healing the hurt suffered by survivors," the cardinal said yesterday.

"He (Pope Benedict) listened very attentively to everything we had to say."

The Conference of Religious in Ireland was briefed on the Vatican meetings last night.

"The message again we bring back with us, we have to listen to the victims, we have to listen to the survivors. They are the ones who have gone through this," Archbishop Martin said.

"It is to listen and learn from what's in the report and do a little bit of deep soul searching of what way the Church will look in Ireland in the years to come."

The Archbishop also signalled talks with senior Vatican officials on the damning Ryan inquiry will continue.

Tomorrow survivors of abusive Church-run institutions will march in silence on Leinster House where representatives of 18 disgraced religious orders named in the Ryan inquiry have been invited to accept a petition ahead of a wreath-laying ceremony.

The demonstration is being organised by Survivors of Institutional Abuse Ireland, Christine Buckley of Aislinn, Survivors of Child Abuse in Ireland, Right of Place and Michael O'Brien, former Clonmel mayor.

A Dail debate on the Ryan report is expected on Thursday.

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