Pope Benedict XVI announced such a visit would take place in his letter to Irish Catholics back in March, but had never mentioned when it would take place or who would be part of the visit.
The delegation includes, Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston, Cardinal Emeritus of Westminister Cormac Murphy O’Connor and the Archbishop of Toronto Canada, Thomas Christopher Collins. The visitors have all previously successfully handled similar clean up efforts in their respective countries.
In order to investigate what has taken place at religious home, the pope has also named four religious.
In a statement, the Vatican’s press office says the goal of the visitation is to offer assistance to the Bishops, clergy, religious and lay faithful as they seek to respond to the situation caused by clerical sex abuse.
The group of visitors will also investigate the handling of abuse cases, assistance to victims and the effectiveness of the current procedures aimed at preventing abuse.
The visitation will start in the four Metropolitan Archdioceses, religious orders and seminaries before an investigation is extended into other dioceses.
The panel will produce a report with possible solutions to the pope after the visit.