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Editorial: It's too little and too late from Pope

It is difficult to see how the pastoral letter by Pope Benedict to address the question of clerical sex abuse can assuage the hurt of victims. For many who have been hurt by decades of inaction by the Catholic Church, it is too little and too late.

Many within the hierarchy of the Church have shown themselves to be hopelessly out of touch with the sense of outrage and anger felt by the public.

The sex scandals sweeping the Catholic Church were, of course, not confined to Ireland.

Even the Pope himself has come under the spotlight for allowing the transfer, when he was an archbishop in Germany in the past, of a priest who had made sexual advances to teenagers.

Whether the Pope's reflection on the problem will go some way to try to repair the terrible hurt that is felt, will remain to be seen over the coming days.