20 Mar 2010

Pope writes letter on child sex abuse by priests

2:59 pm on 20 March 2010

Pope Benedict has written a pastoral letter to the Roman Catholics of Ireland with guidelines on preventing and punishing sexual abuse of children by priests.

It follows revelations last year of paedophilia within the Irish Catholic Church. Scandals involving Roman Catholic priests have also been reported in other countries, including the Pope's native Germany.

The BBC says it is unknown whether the letter, intended to be read at Sunday mass, includes an apology.