Here's a quck round up of reports on Pope Benedict's pastoral letter to Irish Catholics issued this morning. NCR senior correspondent John Allen called the letter Benedict's "most comprehensive statement yet on the sexual abuse crisis."
From the Associated Press:
Asked why there were no punitive provisions contained in the letter, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi noted that the letter was pastoral, not administrative or disciplinary in nature, and that any further measures concerning resignations would be taken by the competent Vatican offices.
Benedict's letter addressed only the scandal in Ireland, not the other cases of abuse which have recently come to light in other countries across Europe, including in the pope's native Germany.
Lombardi acknowledged the other cases but said the Irish scandal was unique in its scope and in what the Vatican has already done, noting that the pontiff last month met with Ireland's bishops. But he said that obviously the letter could be read to apply to other countries and individuals.