Catholics apologise for abuse

LONDON - The leadership of the Catholic Church in England and Wales yesterday offered a full apology for the "grievous sin of child abuse for which there could be no excuse".

LONDON - The leadership of the Catholic Church in England and Wales yesterday offered a full apology for the "grievous sin of child abuse for which there could be no excuse".

A statement issued on behalf of the five million Catholics in England and Wales described the crimes committed by some priests and religious figures as a "profound scandal".

The Roman Catholic Church has in recent months been hit by a child abuse scandal, focusing particularly on Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the US.

"The crimes bring deep shame to the whole church. The abuse of children is a grievous sin against God. They are the personal sins of only a very few. But we are bound together in the Body of Christ and, therefore, their sins touch us all.

"We express our heartfelt apology and deep sorrow to those who have suffered abuse, those who have felt ignored, disbelieved or betrayed. There can be no excuses."

The statement said the church would work with commissions within its dioceses to ensure steps were taken to protect against any further abuse and "atone for those who were already victims".

The church was determined to maintain "openness and transparency, in cooperation with authorities in our countries". - Sapa

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