March 20th, 2011
08:21 AM ET

Irish Catholic Church pledges $14m to help abuse victims

By Peter Taggart, For CNN

The Catholic Church in Ireland is pledging an extra 10 million euros (about $14 million) to help victims of abuse at the hands of priests and other Catholic officials, it announced this weekend.

The announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of a major papal statement on the widespread problem of child abuse in the deeply Catholic country.

"As a result of the grievous wrong of abuse, for many survivors their faith in God and the Church has been profoundly damaged,"  said Ireland's senior churchman, Cardinal Sean Brady.

"Many have expressed a hope that this damage can be addressed," he said, adding that the latest moves were "tangible signs" the church was working to ensure all children were cared for.

The financial pledge is part of a Church initiative called "Towards Healing and Renewal."

The new money will be divided equally between dioceses and religious orders over a period of five years, the church said.

It comes on top of 20 million euros (about $28 million) that has been spent on the confidential helpline and counselling referral service to date.

The initiatives from Irish bishops mark the first anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's Pastoral letter to Irish Catholics.

Since the letter last year, bishops have been meeting with abuse survivors, and will continue to do so, the church said.

As part of the plan, bishops are to set aside each first Friday as a day of fasting and prayer in reparation for the abuse.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Ireland • Pope Benedict XVI • Sex abuse

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soundoff (183 Responses)
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    June 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  2. chief

    This money is top be divided among the parishes..... COME ON.... the church in ireland is going bankrupt.... this is a way for them to stay afloat after they lost of the parishoners

    March 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  3. Marc G.

    Just for the authors edification, The United States is not a Democracy.

    The United States is a Republic.

    There is a big difference.

    March 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.