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Monday, March 21, 2011
EUROPE: IRELAND: BISHOPS PLEDGE $14 MILLION MORE FOR ABUSE VICTIMS
CNN REPORT: The Catholic Church in Ireland is pledging an extra 10 million euros (about $14 million) to help victims of abuse at the hands of priests and other Catholic officials, it announced this weekend.
The announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of a major papal statementon the widespread problem of child abuse in the deeply Catholic country.
"As a result of the grievous wrong of abuse, for many survivors their faith in God and the Church has been profoundly damaged," said Ireland's senior churchman, Cardinal Sean Brady.
"Many have expressed a hope that this damage can be addressed," he said, adding that the latest moves were "tangible signs" the church was working to ensure all children were cared for.
The financial pledge is part of a Church initiative called "Towards Healing and Renewal."
The new money will be divided equally between dioceses and religious orders over a period of five years, the church said.
It comes on top of 20 million euros (about $28 million) that has been spent on the confidential helpline and counselling referral service to date.
The initiatives from Irish bishops mark the first anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's Pastoral letter to Irish Catholics.
Since the letter last year, bishops have been meeting with abuse survivors, and will continue to do so, the church said.
As part of the plan, bishops are to set aside each first Friday as a day of fasting and prayer in reparation for the abuse.