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6/5/2009 3:25 PM
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Pope meets Irish cardinals
on abuse report

VATICAN CITY, June 5 (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI has met with Ireland's top churchmen following the publication of a damning report detailing decades of rapes, humiliation and beatings at church-run reform schools in Ireland.

The Vatican says they briefed the pope on the report.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi says Benedict expressed his solidarity with the victims in the meeting Friday with Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

The Irish government-funded independent report last month detailed "endemic" molestation and rape at church-run boys facilities and ritualized beatings at girls' schools from the 1930s to the 1990s.

Irish bishops brief Pope
on child abuse report

DUBLIN, June 5 (Reuters) - The leaders of the Catholic church in Ireland were to meet Pope Benedict in Rome on Friday to update him about the fallout from revelations priests and nuns beat and raped children in their care.

A harrowing report into the systemic abuse in Ireland's now defunct system of industrial and reform schools has shocked the once devout Catholic country and has put pressure on religious orders who ran the institutions to pay more compensation.

The Pontiff, who apologized for sexual abuse by clergy during a visit to Australia last year and has not commented publicly on the Irish revelations, will meet Cardinal Sean Brady, leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland and Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin to discuss the report's impact.

The 18 orders named in the report, including the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy, said on Thursday they would provide more financial compensation to thousands of victims.

A 2002 deal capped the orders' contribution to a redress fund at 127 million euros ($180 million), compared with a total bill that is expected to top 1 billion euros.

A junior minister has suggested the orders should share half of the cost, while Prime Minister Brian Cowen told them on Thursday to make a further "substantial" contribution without specifying the amount.

In the United States, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay $660 million to 500 victims in the largest compensation of its kind.

The Irish report, chaired by a High Court justice, detailed floggings, slave labor and rape by priests throughout the 20th century, describing over thousands of pages how children were also preyed upon by foster parents and volunteer workers.

The report did not name any abusers following a successful legal challenge by the Christian Brothers but the Irish government has asked the police to examine whether criminal charges can be brought.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/6/2009 12:12 AM]
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