16 Feb 2010

Pope meets Irish bishops over abuse

9:53 am on 16 February 2010

Ireland's Roman Catholic bishops are holding a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican to discuss their response to a child sex abuse scandal.

In a report issued last year, the Church admitted covering up abuse by priests in Ireland for decades, the BBC reports.

The Murphy Commission described a culture of concealment where Church leaders prioritised the protection of their own institution above that of vulnerable children in their care, and often failed to pass on details to the police.

Before the meeting, one of the Vatican's top cardinals called the abuse "abominable".

Four bishops criticised for failing to address concerns about abuse have already resigned, but victims say more must be done to restore public trust.

The Pope has said he is "disturbed and distressed" by last year's report.