Pope Says Sorry for Sex Abuse

A day after six people were arrested on suspicion of plotting to attack him, Pope Benedict XVI addressed on Saturday the British faithful in a televised homily from the Westminster Cathedral, saying that the Church is ashamed of the sexual abuse cases brought against some of its ministers.

Benedict said he was sorry for the sex abuse committed by some high-ranking Catholic priests. He also expressed hope that the humiliation suffered by the Church because of the abuses would somehow ease the pain suffered by the victims. Benedict’s four-day state visit to the United Kingdom has been marred by protests and anger from both Catholics and non-Catholics, largely due to what many felt was the Church’s attempt to cover up the abuses, especially in Ireland where systematic sexual abuse in Church-run schools have been reported.

“I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes, along with my hope that the power of Christ’s grace, his sacrifice of reconciliation, will bring deep healing and peace to their lives,” said the 83-year-old leader of the Catholic Church. Although some people saw the Pope’s apology as sincere, Peter Isley of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Benedict’s apology cannot help prevent future abuses. “We don’t need a pope who is sad about crimes. We need a pope who will prevent crimes,” Isley said in a statement.