Pastoral letter from Pope to Irish Church confirmed for Saturday release

.- The text of the Pope’s pastoral letter will be made public on Saturday, March 20 at noon, according to an announcement on Thursday from the Holy See’s Press Office.

The letter to the Catholics of Ireland is greatly anticipated by the lay faithful and clergy of the Irish Church after the details of sexual abuse cases came to light in the Murphy Report, released last Nov. 26.

It was announced on Dec. 11, after a meeting with Cardinal Sean Brady and Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, that Benedict XVI would be writing the letter. The two leaders of the Irish Catholic Church had gone to Rome to discuss the contents of the Murphy Report with the Holy Father.

Cardinal Brady, head of the Irish bishops, welcomed the letter this week in his St. Patrick’s Day homily, saying he was looking forward to it as an “important source” for a “new beginning” and renewal in the Catholic Church of Ireland.

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