Irish church leaders meet pope to discuss report on child abuse


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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Two top leaders of the Irish church met with Pope Benedict XVI June 5 to discuss a report by an independent commission on child abuse.

Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, president of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference traveled to Rome to provide Vatican officials with information about the church in Ireland, including the impact of the commission's report, said a June 5 statement by the Irish Bishops' Conference.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin joined the cardinal for the June 5 private papal audience. The standing committee of the Irish Bishops' Conference discussed the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse May 25, the bishops' statement said.

The independent commission was established by the Irish government in 2000 to hear evidence from anyone alleged to have suffered child abuse at institutions since 1940.

These institutions, funded by the state but often run by Catholic religious orders, included schools, orphanages, hospitals, children's homes and other institutions where children were in the care of nonfamily members.