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Following up on his apologetic letter to Irish Catholics earlier this year, Pope Benedict has appointed a team of high-ranking clergy to conduct an Apostolic Visitation to Ireland, which has been hit hard by the clergy abuse scandal.
The team, a kind of investigative commission, is a who’s who of diaspora Irish Catholic leaders: Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto, Archbishop Thomas Prendergast of Ottawa, and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, retired leader of English Catholicism. Starting this autumn, they will focus on Ireland’s dioceses, religous orders and seminaries.