* Riazat Butt
* guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 20 May 2009 19.45 BST
The new leader of Catholics in England and Wales has provoked outrage after describing members of the clergy who admitted abusing children in their care as courageous for facing up to their past.
The comments by the Most Rev Vincent Nichols follow the release of a report that revealed Catholic priests and nuns terrorised thousands of boys and girls in the Irish Republic, while government inspectors failed to stop the continuing beatings, rapes and humiliation.
In an interview broadcast to be broadcast tonight on ITV's News at Ten, Nichols said: "It's very distressing and very disturbing and my heart goes out today first of all to those people who will find that their stories are now told in public.
"Secondly, I think of those in religious orders and some of the clergy in
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