Church must reform or perish
TODAY'S meeting in Rome between Pope Benedict XVI and 24 Irish bishops is unique in its content and its format but above all in its significance. The future of the Catholic Church in Ireland could hinge on the exchanges and conclusions.
It is essential that all Irish people of good will, and especially the bishops themselves, should understand the crucial nature of the encounter and its background.
The bishops will account for themselves to the Pope on the uniquely painful question of the clerical sex abuse scandals and the cover-ups to which they led. There is no doubting the grief and contrition expressed by their spokesmen. Bishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher has said that they will acknowledge the "enormous injustice and cruelty" of sex abuse.