Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 11:13 UK

Pope to hear about abuse report

A religious statue
Abuse at Catholic institutions was investigated

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland is to meet the Pope to discuss a report into child abuse by religious orders.

Thousands of children were abused in Catholic-run institutions, according to the report published last month.

Cardinal Sean Brady, who spoke of his shame at the findings, will be accompanied by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin at the Rome meeting.

Cardinal Brady is to talk about the impact of the report on the church.

The five-volume study by the Child Abuse Commission, concluded that monks and nuns encouraged ritual beatings and consistently shielded their orders' paedophiles from arrest amid a "culture of self-serving secrecy".

It found that sexual abuse was "endemic" in boys' institutions, and church leaders knew what was going on.

Schools were run "in a severe, regimented manner that imposed unreasonable and oppressive discipline on children and even on staff".

The report, nine years in the making and covering a period of six decades, found government inspectors failed to stop beatings, rapes and humiliation.

The victims were among 35,000 children who were placed in a network of reformatories, industrial schools and workhouses until the early 1990s.

The findings will not be used for criminal prosecutions.

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