Pope: Church will protect young people from abuse

April 18, 2010 15:27

VALLETTA, Malta — Pope Benedict XVI met with a group of clerical abuse victims Sunday 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.

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.

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