DUBLIN - A group representing victims of child abuse in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland on Monday welcomed the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI after "he promised a lot but delivered nothing".
"This pope had a great opportunity to finally address the decades of abuse in the church but at the end of the day he did nothing but promise everything and in the end he ultimately delivered nothing," John Kelly, of the Survivors of Child Abuse support group, told AFP.
Ireland has been stunned by a series of revealing reports in recent years that lifted the lid on decades of child abuse suffered at the hands of religious members that stretches back to the foundation of the state in 1922.
"We asked the pope for sanctions against the religious orders who committed the abuse and the religious leaders in Ireland who allowed this to happen but to our dismay nothing has happened," Kelly added.
Kelly himself spent most of his childhood living in Catholic-run institutions and recalls being flogged with a whip and having a religious brother standing on his hands.
Groups such as Survivors of Child Abuse have repeatedly called on the Vatican to bring to justice priests found to have carried out abuse.
"The Church needs to acknowledge that all of this happened. They need to acknowledge that they allowed the devil inside and had him reside there for 50 years," Kelly said.
"The Church cannot move on. This pope's tenure has been plagued by scandals and that will continue unless the pope addresses the root causes and that can only start from the top."
The surprise announcement from the 85-year-old pope that he intends to step down marked a first in the modern history of the Catholic Church.