VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI said priestly sexual abuse was a "heinous crime" and a grave sin, and he urged Irish bishops to act courageously to repair their failures to deal properly with such cases.
At the end of a two-day Vatican summit on the sex abuse scandal in Ireland, the Vatican said in a statement Feb. 16 that "errors of judgment and omissions" were at the heart of the crisis. It said church leaders recognized the sense of "pain and anger, betrayal, scandal and shame" that those errors have provoked among many Irish Catholics.
"All those present recognized that this grave crisis has led to a breakdown in trust in the church's leadership and has damaged her witness to the Gospel and its moral teaching," the statement said.
The full text of the final statement is here: Final statement of pope-Irish bishops meeting
"For his part, the Holy Father observed that the sexual abuse of children and young people is not only a heinous crime, but also a grave sin which offends God and wounds the dignity of the human person created in his image," it said.