Pope begins meeting with Irish Bishops

Bologna Hall

Bologna Hall

The Holy Father began a two-day meeting with prelates of the Irish Episcopal Conference in the Bologna Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace at 9.30 this morning.

Before the meeting began on Monday, a Mass  was offered. Vatican Secretary of State  Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was the main celebrant, with Cardinal Re, Cardinal Levada, Cardinal Hummes, Cardinal Rode, Cardinal Grocholewski, Archbishop Coccopalmerio and the Irish bishops. Prayers were offered for the survivors of abuse, the people, priests and religious of Ireland and for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI. Prayers were also offered for the success of the meeting which takes place today and tomorrow (Tuesday) in the Vatican.

Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, asked the faithful to continue to pray for healing, reconciliation and renewal. Cardinal Brady prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the Church in Ireland at this time.

The BBC's NI reporter in Rome Julie Kirby, said at the weekend: "It is no secret that there has been tension within the hierarchy as to how the Murphy Report was handled by the Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin.

Speaking on behalf of all the Bishops, the Bishop of Clougher Joseph Duffy said that those tensions had now been "thrashed out" and relations between the bishops were now very cordial.

"Every kind of challenge can become a reason for purification and sanctification as long as it is illuminated by faith," he said.

Armagh Archbishop Sean Brady, the primate of all Ireland, told Vatican Radio that the two days of meetings were part of a "journey of repentance, reconciliation and renewal".

Source: Irish Catholic Media Office/BBC/Vatican Radio

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