Teary Pope: We'll Protect Young From Abuse
Benedict expresses shame in Malta visit
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 18, 2010 6:16 AM CDT
Updated Apr 18, 2010 7:19 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI, Malta's President George Abela, and his wife, look out from a balcony of the Presidential palace, Saturday, April 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, pool)
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(Newser) – Pope Benedict met with a group of clerical abuse victims today and promised them the church would do everything in its power to punish abusive priests and protect young people in the future. The Vatican said Benedict expressed his shame and sorrow at the pain the men and their families suffered and prayed with them during the meeting at the Vatican's embassy in Malta. Some victims told the Times of London the pontiff had tears in his eyes.

It was the first time Benedict had met with abuse victims since the worldwide clerical abuse scandal engulfed the Vatican earlier this year. "He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future," a Vatican statement said.