Over the weekend, the Vatican released Pope Benedict’s letter to Catholics traumatized and horrified by the clergy sex abuse scandal in Ireland. In it, the pontiff expressed his own “dismay and sense of betrayal,” while urging victims to find solace and communion through the church and Jesus Christ.

Politics Daily’s David Gibson explains that the letter expresses regret for the abuse, citing bad advice from psychiatrists and experts as part of the problem, but does not propose any penalties for bishops who helped protect the pedophile priests.

No word yet on whether a similar message will go out to Benedict’s native Germany, where the unfolding revelations indirectly implicate the pontiff himself. Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reports that leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) are heading to Europe to meet with victims, criticize Vatican officials and urge independent investigations into church sex crimes.

Observing that not much was changed in response to America’s own clergy sex abuse scandal, Beliefnet’s Rod Dreher writes that he will be “very surprised if anything comes of this.”

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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