The Vatican has invited Catholics and non-Catholics to contact the investigators Pope Benedict XVI has appointed to examine the fallout here from the child abuse scandals.

Confirming that the investigation team will be available to meet victims and their families, a statement from the Holy See Press Office said the visitation aims to verify how effectively the Church here is responding to cases and helping victims of abuse.

The statement said the nine-strong team - established by the Pope in May - will not investigate individual cases of abuse or judge past events.

Rather, the nine ‘Visitators’ are tasked with identifying how the Holy See might help the church here.

The statement adds that other individuals, whether Catholic or not, may ask to be received by the visiting prelates.

It emphasises that the process will in no way interfere with statutory authorities charged with protecting children.

Nor will it cut across ‘Commissions of Investigation’, one of which is still to report on some cases of abuse in Dublin as well as on scandals in the diocese of Cloyne.

The statement says individuals may write to any of the nine investigators using the Papal Nuncio's address.