DUBLIN -- Cardinal Sean Brady said the Catholic church will cooperate fully with a government-led investigation into institutional abuse being launched in Northern Ireland.
A similar inquiry in Ireland -- the Ryan Commission -- reported in 2009 and found that physical abuse was widespread and sexual abuse was endemic in many institutions for boys run by members of religious congregations.
Brady, whose Armagh Archdiocese straddles the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, spoke after a meeting Monday with the group Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland. He was accompanied by representatives of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Sisters of St. Louis, Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Nazareth, all of whom managed institutions for children and vulnerable adults in the region.
"I wish to confirm that we believe the experiences the group shared with us and acknowledge its ongoing impact on their lives," Brady said after the meeting. "We apologize wholeheartedly and without reserve for the abuse that they suffered as children. We remain committed to fully cooperating with the inquiry."