Pope defends celibacy for priests in massive rally

June 11, 2010 00:23

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has strongly defended celibacy for priests as a sign of faith in an increasingly secular world during a rally that has drawn some 15,000 priests from around the world.

Benedict didn't directly mention the clerical abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church, but he referred to some "secondary scandals" that showed "our own insufficiencies and sins."Benedict's comments came during an evening vigil service in St. Peter's Square to mark the end of the Vatican's year of the priest — a year that has been marred by revelations of hundreds of new cases of clerical abuse, cover-up and Vatican inaction to stop it.

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