Pope's letter of apology disappoints Irish sex abuse victims

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London, March 21 (ANI): The Pope's historic apology has failed to comfort the victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland.

Pope Benedict XVI, in an unprecedented papal decree, apologised following a string of shocking revelations claiming senior bishops in Ireland had been involved in covering up the crimes relating to the mistreatment of children.

He acknowledged there had been cover-ups of paedophile priests and expressed his "shame and remorse" for the "sinful and criminal acts", The Telegraph reported.

But his apology has fallen short of assuring victims' groups, who said the letter only referred to Ireland and not other regions and did not admit that the abuse was systematically covered-up.

Maeve Lewis, executive director of victims group One in Four, said: "We feel the letter falls far short of addressing the concerns of the victims. Clerical sex abuse is not just an Irish phenomenon or indeed an Anglophone phenomenon as the Vatican has tried to assert."

But John L. Allen, the author of two books on Benedict, thinks the Pope should be praised for taking the first step in addressing the issue of paedophile priests seriously.

He said: "For people who know the history of the Church's painfully slow and inadequate response to this crisis, this pope is one of the good guys.

"He was the first pope to meet with the victims of sex abuse and he has really broken the wall of silence around the whole issue. By historical standards, he is a pioneer and this letter is another chapter reflecting that." (ANI)

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