Pope Benedict XVI says he hopes his coming pastoral letter to the Church in Ireland will "help repentance, healing and renewal", as child sex abuse allegations spring up in several countries.
Speaking at his general audience at St Peter's Square, the pontiff said he would on Friday sign his pastoral letter dealing with pedophilia in Ireland, according to a Reuters report in The Washington Post.
"As you know, in recent months the Church in Ireland has been severely shaken as a result of the child abuse crisis. As a sign of my deep concern I have written a pastoral letter dealing with this painful situation," the Pope reportedly said.
"I ask all of you to read it for yourselves, with an open heart and in a spirit of faith. My hope is that it will help in the process of repentance, healing and renewal," he said.
Vatican sources were quoted as saying the letter was expected to be released on Friday or Saturday.
Although the pope's letter will be addressed to the Irish people, it is expected to touch on the effects of pedophilia sandals in a number of European countries, including his native Germany, the report added.
Pope hopes Irish abuse letter will heal wounds (Washington Post/Reuters)
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