Pope to apologise for sex scandals

Pope Benedict XVI is in Australia ahead of the Catholic church's World Youth Day.

    Three months ago the pope apologised for scandals affecting the church in the US [AFP]

    In a 2003 letter obtained by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Pell told Jones that an internal report did not support his accusation of attempted aggravated sexual assault by Father Terence Goodall.

    It had in fact accepted all of Jones's allegations.
      
    Pell said earlier this week that the letter to Jones was "badly worded and a mistake" but denied it was part of a cover-up and on Friday ordered an independent, church-appointed panel to investigate the claims.

    'Scores' of clergy prosecuted

     

    Benedict's visit to Australia comes just three months after trips to Washington and New York during which he apologised for the paedophile priest scandals that have rocked the Catholic church in the United States.

    "It must be clear being a priest is incompatible with this behaviour because priests are in the service of our Lord," Benedict said on Saturday.

    "We have to reflect on what was insufficient and our education and our teaching [of priests]. This is the essential content of what we will say [as we] apologise."

    Broken Rites Australia, which helps victims of church-related sexual abuse, has urged Benedict to "offer a proper apology personally to a group of victims of church sexual abuse".
      
    The group says more than 50 Australian priests and brothers have been prosecuted for sexual crimes.

    Benedict is in Australia to preside over World Youth Day, during which he will highlight the threat of climate change.

    The 81-year-old pope will spend three days resting at a retreat in Sydney before taking part in the festival.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.