Pope Benedict is set to meet with Ireland's Catholic church hierarchy to talk about reported cases of abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland after the Irish Catholic church issued a public apology for the abuses committed by priests on women and children under their care.
The meeting was called to discuss and evaluate "the painful situation of the Church in Ireland" following the publication last month of the Murphy Commission Report.
The latest report details sexual abuse by some Catholic priests in Ireland and the church leadership's attempt at allegedly hiding the abuse to protect the church's image.
"I offer to each and every survivor my apology, my sorrow and my shame for what happened," url=http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/world/view/20091127-238675/Irish-Catholic-Church-hid-sex-abuse-for-3-decades t=_blank]said Diarmuid Martin, archbishop of Dublin since 2004.
"I am aware that no words of apology will ever be sufficient," he said, adding that "the fact that many abusers were priests constituted both an offense to God and an affront to the priesthood."
The Pope strongly condemned
sexual abuse during his trips to two countries hit hard by widespread scandals -- the United States and Australia.
Critics, such as victims' groups, have said the Vatican and the Church had not gone far enough in handing over suspected abusers to civil justice.
The meeting, which will be attended by Cardinal Sean Brady of the Irish Bishops Conference and Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, will be held on Friday.