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A Catholic prelate in Ireland has said the church would arrange for victims of clerical sex abuse in one diocese to meet the bishop who was in charge of it when hundreds of abuse complaints were kept secret, said a New York Times report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The meetings, the first of their kind in the Irish sex abuse scandals, are similar to those now happening in the US.
In an interview on RTE, the state television network, Archbishop Dermot Clifford, who now leads the diocese of Cloyne, discussed the meetings and repeated an apology to victims, saying the church's failure to report allegations of abuse to the police was misguided.
''I suppose they didn't see the thing as a crime,'' Archbishop Clifford said of priests in the diocese. ''They saw the thing more as a sin than a crime and probably weren't advised strictly enough as to where their duties lay when an allegation came to them.''
The victims are to meet John Magee, who resigned as bishop of Cloyne in 2009, and Denis O'Callaghan, now retired, who was responsible for child protection in the diocese.
Sex victims to meet bishop who kept abuse secret (Sydney Morning Herald/NYT)
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