Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
20 Sep 2010
As on other trips, also on this journey to the United Kingdom Benedict XVI met with victims of acts of sexual abuse committed by priests. The meeting took place behind closed doors and the communications media were not present. According the Vatican "he was moved by what they had to say and expressed his deep sorrow and shame over what victims and their families had suffered."
The Vatican added that the Pope "prayed with the victims and assured them that the Catholic Church is continuing to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people, and that it is doing all in its power to investigate allegations, to collaborate with civil authorities and to bring to justice clergy and religious accused of these egregious crimes."
During his flight to the United Kingdom, the Pope lamented the fact that Church authorities had not been sufficiently vigilant, rapid and decisive in combating the abuse.
"What is most important are the victims, what we can do to protect them, what we can do to help these persons overcome this trauma, to restore their life, and also to restore their trust in the message of Christ."
This is the fifth time that Benedict XVI has met sex abuse victims. Previous meetings took place in the Vatican and in the course of his trips to the United States, Australia and Malta.