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Pope Releases Pastoral Letter to Ireland

The long-awaited response from Pope Benedict XVI to the scandal in Ireland arrived today. It recognizes that the Church needs a new vision and calls for investigation of the Irish church. But against a backdrop of growing revelations in Germany, The Netherlands and other European countries -- not to mention the roster of clergy sex-abuse revelations across the globe and stretching decades into the past -- Pope Benedict once again failed to acknowledge the systemic failures that have led to cover-ups and official silence, and once again failed to hold accountable the bishops who allowed institutional secrecy to override pastoral needs.

To read VOTF's press release, click here.

For news from Ireland, see Sean O'Conaill's report,

National Catholic Reporter has the full text of the Pope's letter to Ireland.