Pope Will Address Abuse Crisis During US Visit

Pontiff aims 'to open the path of healing and reconciliation'
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 9:45 PM CDT
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone says Pope Benedict "will try to open the path of healing and reconciliation" over the church's sex-abuse scandal during his US visit.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
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(Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI will address the clergy sex-abuse crisis during his visit to the US next week, a top aide tells the AP. The pontiff, who begins the six-day trip Tuesday in Washington, "will try to open the path of healing and reconciliation" during a mass for clergy members April 19 at New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral.

The crisis, which has cost US dioceses millions in settlements, has caused "so much suffering for the victims, for the families of the victims, and above all to the church because it was a contradiction with the great educational mission of the church," Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said today. Nearly 14,000 molestation claims have been filed against the church since 1950, the AP notes.