Pope's letter 'will be a lecture to us': Christine Buckley

The Pope's long-awaited pastoral letter to Irish Catholics following the clerical child sex abuse scandals will be published today.

Pope Benedict will address the issue of child abuse allegations, and how they have been handled.

The specific wording of the letter will not be made known until 11am today.

There is some speculation the Pope will apologise on behalf of the Church to Irish victims of clerical child sex abuse and to the Irish faithful generally for abuse by priests.

Abuse victim Christine Buckley, who is also the director of the abuse victims' support facility the Aislinn Centre, said: "I'm expecting absolutely nothing..I think it will be a lecture to us, indirectly."

There is exceptional international interest in the contents of the letter, which is the first of its kind related to the issue of clerical child sex abuse.

The Catholic Primate of All-Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady will make a statement on it, following Mass in St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh this morning.

The letter will also be read out at Masses in parishes across the country this evening and tomorrow.

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