In a statement released yesterday he said he accepted that the Church was clearly part of that culture in which people were frequently stigmatized, judged and rejected.
“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”, he said.
“I believe the Church must continue to acknowledge before the Lord and before others its part in sustaining what the Report describes as a ‘harsh … cold and uncaring atmosphere’”.
The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said what happened in the mother and baby homes was “only one chapter in a shocking narrative that has gone on for some time”.
He said everybody involved in what had happened “has to stand up” and admit their responsibility.