VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has asked the president of the Irish bishops' conference and the archbishop of Dublin to come to the Vatican to discuss "the painful situation of the church in Ireland" following a report detailing the church's failures in addressing clerical sexual abuse.
Irish press reports said Bishop Donal Murray of Limerick was expected to resign in the wake of the Dublin report's criticism of his "inexcusable" handling of an investigation of a pedophile priest.
Bishop Murray the only still-active bishop listed in the Murphy Report, was said by several sources to be already in Rome to meet with Vatican officials.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the pope's meeting with Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, president of the Irish bishops' conference, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin would take place Dec. 11.
The spokesman said the meeting would include the nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, and the heads of several Vatican offices dealing with sex abuse and related issues.