Pope Benedict XVI has released a letter apologizing for years of abuse suffered by Internet writers for TheSpoof.com at the hands of an imposter priest and sometimes author known as "Fergus McCarthy".
The seven-page letter, published in Rome Saturday, has various sections addressed to the victims, their parents, church leaders and the Irish faithful as a whole who have suffered at the hands of the false priest.
The letter, to be read at Sunday mass, rebukes church leaders for "grave errors of judgment" by failing to respond adequately to allegations of abuse and singled out Clark Throwton for allowing Mr. McCarthy to abuse other fellow writers on his website unchecked for years.
Speaking directly to readers of TheSpoof.com Pope Benedict said "Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated, I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured."
The Pope said he felt "shame and remorse" over what the victims have endured and praised the courage of Nick Fun, Buckwheatsbutt and Jalopenoman who first spoke out against the abuse.
"You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry," he said. I do not personally think that you are shitheads."
Benedict called the abuse carried out by McCarthy "sinful and criminal".
He said many factors gave rise to the problem, including "insufficient human, moral, intellectual and spiritual formation and a lack of temperance late at night at the keyboard.