Irish Catholic Church apologises to survivors of church-run homes

FILE PHOTO: Archbishop Eamon Martin attends John Hume's funeral at St Eugene's Cathedral in Londonderry, Northern Ireland August 5, 2020. REUTERS/Lorraine O'Sullivan/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The head of the Irish Catholic Church unreservedly apologised to survivors of church-run homes following the publication of a damning inquiry on Tuesday and praised them for bringing to light “a dark chapter in the life of Church and society.”

“I accept that the Church was clearly part of that culture in which people were frequently stigmatized, judged and rejected,” Archbishop Eamon Martin said in a statement after the report found thousands of infants died in the homes for unwed mothers and their offspring from the 1920s to the 1990s.

“For that, and for the long-lasting hurt and emotional distress that has resulted, I unreservedly apologise to the survivors and to all those who are personally impacted by the realities it uncovers.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin, Editing by Franklin Paul