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 were dismissed when they tried to complain to Church authorities, while Survivors of Child Abuse said the letter lacked "substance".
"Victims were hoping for an acknowledgment of the scurrilous ways in which they have been treated as they attempted to bring their experiences of abuse to the attention of the Church authorities," One in Four's executive director Maeve Lewis said on Saturday.
"The lack of an apology to them in this regard is hurtful in the extreme."
The group said Pope Benedict XVI has wasted "a glorious opportunity" to address "the core issue in the clerical sexual abuse scandal: the deliberate policy of the Catholic Church at the highest levels to protect sex offenders, thereby endangering children".
Read more - Pope's letter 'doesn't address concerns' – The Sydney Morning Herald - AFP or Agence France-Presse
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"Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well-considered, and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child's spirit." Erik Erikson