20 Mar 2012

The Visitation Report

On 19 March 2010, following a meeting in the Vatican with the bishops of Ireland, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI issued a Pastoral Letter to the Catholics in Ireland. The Pastoral Letter expressed his deep sorrow and regret regarding abuse perpetrated by priests and religious on victims “You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry” and addressed how such cases had been responded to in the past. The Pastoral Letter also announced a number of “concrete initiatives” including an Apostolic Visitation of certain dioceses in Ireland, as well as seminaries and religious congregations. The Apostolic Visitation was “intended to assist the local Church in her path of renewal.” Today the Holy See published a summary of the reports prepared by the Visitators setting out some recommendations to assist the pastoral renewal of the church in Ireland.

  • Statement from Cardinal Sean Brady
  • Summary of Visitation Report
  • Audio files of press conference in Maynooth
  • Report from Vatican Radio
  • Pope Benedict XVI's Pastoral Letter to the Catholics in Ireland



  • March 20, 2012. (Romereports.com) The Vatican has released a document from their findings on an apostolic visit to Ireland. It's based on a visit to religious orders and seminaries in four archdioceses in the country. In the document, “the Holy See reiterates the sense of dismay expressed by Pope Benedict XVI” over the sex abuse scandal in Ireland. The group also “acknowledged the seriousness of the shortcomings” in handling the cases of abuse. They said there was also “decisive progress” that has led to “greater awareness of the problem”. The document also calls for the involvement of lay people in the work of prevention and formation and cooperation with civil authorities in reporting accusations. These guidelines come from a 2008 document called “Safeguarding Children” which will be updated based on the Circular Letter by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. The apostolic visitors also made stops at seminaries and religious institutions to examine the training being received. Their aim was to ensure an “authentic priestly identity” in the students at the seminary. The visit also “recognized the painful events of recent years that opened many wounds in the Catholic community”.

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