In his General Audience today, Pope Benedict addressed the sex-abuse scandal publicly for the first time since his March 20 letter to the Irish bishops:
Pope Benedict XVI promised Wednesday that the Catholic Church would take action to confront the clerical sex abuse scandal, making his first public comments on the crisis days after meeting with victims.
During his weekly public audience in St. Peter’s Square, Benedict recounted his tearful weekend meeting in Malta with eight men who say they were abused as children by priests in a church-run orphanage.
“I shared with them their suffering, and emotionally prayed with them, assuring them of church action,” Benedict said.
At the time of the private meeting Sunday, the Vatican issued a statement saying Benedict had told the men that the church would do everything in its power to bring justice to abusive priests and would implement “effective measures” to protect children.
Wednesday, the public heard the words from the pope himself.