The Vatican has confirmed that the Pope will be sending an open letter to the people of Ireland next week.

The news comes as a wave of new church abuse scandals has begun unraveling in Holland, Austria and Germany.

The new scandals have rocked the Church again, just weeks after it attempted to ease Irish fears about sex abuse there.

The German case is particularly worrying for the Vatican as Pope Benedict was Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982, and the cases under investigation run from 1964 to 1994.

In addition, Benedict spent the following two decades running the Vatican agency charged with investigations of Church abuse.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi says that Benedict has no case to answer.

And he says that Benedict made clear his commitment to rooting out Church sex abuse with his decision to call the Irish bishops to Rome.