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Rome Reports

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February 2010: Pope visits homeless center and meets Irish bishops to confront sexual abuses

When I was forced to resort to charity, I was desperate, but now I am a new person.” Now she is turning the help she received when she was in need, into a job here as a volunteer. Benedict XVIThe Church loves us deeply, and does not abandon us”. Also in February, the Pope summoned all the Irish bishops to Rome in order to address the sexual abuse scandal involving priests and accusations of a cover up by some Irish bishops and civil authorities. The meeting examined cases detailed in two independent reports, published in 2009. The Ryan report documented physical and psychiatric abuse committed in educational religious and public institutions between 1914 and 2000. Some 23 religious were accused, as well as three women. The second report, entitled the Murphy report documented abuses comitted by priests in the Diocese of Dublin, between 1975 and 2004. Some 46 priests were accused in the abuse of 320 minors. The Pope encouraged them to face the situation with honesty and courage, so that such atrocities are never repeated. The bishops promised that they would collaborate with public authorities to prevent future cases of abuse. The month closed with a rare, out-of-the-ordinary image that hasn?t been seen in the last 24 years. Snow fell on St. Peter?s Square, covering the area in a soft, white blanket. Even the Pope, who was working in his office, stuck his head out of his window, to catch a glimpse of such a unique, beautiful sight. JMB/SC GDP - -WP