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Pope 'horrified' by Irish clergy's sex abuse26/10/2006 - 6:36:02 PMPope Benedict XVI today revealed his horror atthe behaviour of more than 20 priests who sexually abused children inthe Diocese of Ferns.
The pontiff told the Bishop of Ferns, theRevered Denis Brennan, he was praying for the healing and peace of allthose who had suffered.
In his first comments on the abuse as pontiff, he spoke of his deep sorrow and distress at the suffering endured by the victims.
Heexpressed his own personal anguish and horror at the incomprehensiblebehaviour of those clergy. He told Bishop Brennan the priestsâ€™ actionshad devastated human lives and profoundly betrayed the trust ofchildren, young people, their families and parish communities.
The pope received Bishop Brennan as part of the visit of the Irish Episcopal Conference.
PopeBenedict asked the bishop to assure those who have been sexually abusedby priests of his concern for them and his deep regret at the harm andsuffering they have experienced.
He also requested that Bishop Brennan convey to all the faithful of the Diocese of Ferns his care for them.
Thepontiff expressed solidarity with the lay-faithful, religious andpriests of Ferns in the sufferings they have endured and in the deeppain caused by the scandal of sexual abuse of the young.
TheReport of the Ferns Inquiry into abuse in the diocese said itidentified more than 100 allegations of child sexual abuse, madebetween 1962 and 2002, against 21 priests.
Six of the priests had died before any allegations of abuse were made against them.
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.Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia