Pope sorry for Australian clergy sex abuse

July 18, 2008 6:04:36 PM PDT
Pope Benedict XVI says he is deeply sorry for the pain and suffering caused to victims of clergy sex abuse. The pope addressed a Mass Saturday attended by Australia's Roman Catholic bishops and seminarians, and said he wanted to acknowledge the "shame that we have all felt as result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious" in Australia.

He said the deeds of clergy responsible for abuse were a grave betrayal of trust that had caused great pain, had damaged the Roman Catholic church, and deserved unequivocal condemnation.

Support groups for victims of church abuse in Australia, whose numbers are not known but who activists say are in the thousands, have demanded the pope make a full and open apology for clergy abuse and do more to prevent future abuse.