Cardinal Sean Brady vowed yesterday to meet victims of clerical sex abuse before Irish bishops travel to the Vatican next month for the mini-synod with the Pope.
It is believed that former Police Ombudsman Dame Nuala O'Loan may travel with the delegation. Dr Brady said the hierarchy's first concern was healing survivors.
“For that reason, we will listen to them before going to Rome,” he said. The bishops of all 26 dioceses were summoned to a two-day meeting in Rome — from February 15 to 16 — for what Dr Brady described as a “mini-synod”.
Pope Benedict has called the extraordinary meeting to consider initiatives to be proposed in his forthcoming Lenten letter to the Catholics of Ireland. Dr Brady said they were going to Rome to discuss a “painful situation in the Catholic church in Ireland”.
Asked about the value of bringing a lay person on the delegation, such as Dame Nuala, Dr Brady said the invitations were a matter for the Pope but added that the lay consultation process wasn't something they were “pulling out of the air to make things look good”.
The cardinal said he did not know what the outcome of the Rome meeting would be.
\[Shane Donaghey\]”I expect to be heard very respectfully by the Holy Father, who said he wants to listen to us in order to help,” he said.
Dr Brady said the meeting in Rome would be one step in the process, adding that it wouldn't “resolve all of our problems”.
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