Band-Aid for a Grievously Wounded Church.

I have spent the afternoon celebrating my granddaughter’s first birthday, so have not yet had a chance to read in full the Papal “pastoral” letter to the Irish Church.  I did read a few press summaries before going out, and have reflected on their significance while riding the trains, but I do not want to get into a detailed response until I have read the full report. My initial reaction though, can best be conveyed by a few visual images:    a mother who responds to a  mildly injured child by kissing it better, or applying a band aid.  A less charitable image would show two raised fingers to the Irish Church.

A copy of Pope Benedict XVI's pastoral letter to Irish Catholics is displayed in St Peters Square, Vatican. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

When I returned this afternoon, I did get a chance to scan some headlines, which I now share with you unread. It does not  seem that Catholics elsewhere are any more enthusiastic about this letter than I am:

Pope’s letter to Irish Catholics disappoints child abuse survivors

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The Guardian – ?3 hours ago?
Cardinal Sean Brady hands a copy of the Pope’s pastoral letter to a churchgoer at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images Survivors of child abuse by Catholic clergy in Ireland have expressed disappointment with the 

Pope’s sex abuse letter ‘does not address cover-up’

Times Online – ?4 hours ago?

Campaigners for the victims of sexual abuse in Ireland claimed the Pope’s letter failed to address the “core issue” of why the perpetrators were protected. Sexual abuse charity One in Four said the Catholic Church was “still in denial”,…

Pope’s letter to Irish Catholics disappoints child abuse survivors

The Guardian – ?3 hours ago?

Cardinal Sean Brady hands a copy of the Pope’s pastoral letter to a churchgoer at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images Survivors of child abuse by Catholic clergy in Ireland have expressed disappointment with the …

Victims disappointed by Pope abuse letter

ABC Online – ?4 hours ago?

The Pope said priests and religious workers guilty of child abuse must answer for their crimes. (www.sxc.hu: Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo, file photo) Irish victims of clerical child sexual abuse are deeply disappointed by Pope Benedict’s letter of …

Pope’s letter ‘doesn’t address concerns’

Sydney Morning Herald – ?39 minutes ago?

The Pope’s letter expressing shame and remorse for the sexual abuse of children by priests in Ireland “falls far short” of addressing the concerns of victims, campaigners say. The One in Four group bemoaned the lack of an apology for the way victims ...

Activists disappointed in Pope mum on secrecy

Press TV – ?2 hours ago?

Groups representing victims of Pedophile Catholic priests have expressed deep disappointment over Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral letter of apology to the “Irish faithful.” Support groups One in Four and Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) say the Pope missed ..

Irish abuse survivors first response to Pope’s letter

Independent Catholic News – Claire Bergin – ?3 hours ago?

Irish survivors of clerical child sexual abuse have given mixed responses to Pope Benedict’s letter to Irish Catholics which was issued this morning. Describing her feelings as ‘despondent’ Maeve Lewis, director of victims group One in Four said: “My …

The Pope: Child Abuse is Liberals’ Fault

Spectator.co.uk – Alex Massie – ?6 hours ago?

In recent decades, however, the Church in your country has had to confront new and serious challenges to the faith arising from the rapid transformation and secularization of Irish society. Fast-paced social change has occurred, often adversely

Pope slams Irish church, no Vatican blame in abuse

WOKV – Shawn Pogatchnik, Nicole Winfield – ?7 minutes ago?

AP Writer DUBLIN (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI’s unprecedented letter to Ireland apologizing for chronic child abuse within the Catholic Church failed Saturday to calm the anger of many victims, who accused the Vatican of ducking its

Survivor calls on pope to resign

Irish Times – ?6 hours ago

He said that a major problem with the pastoral letter was the pope’s failure to accept the cover-up of clerical sex abuse. “The whole Murphy report was …

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