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Pope to apologise for Catholic sex scandal

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Pope to apologise for Catholic sex scandal


Pope Benedict has arrived in Australia after indicating to journalists he will apologise for decades of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.

After being greeted by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the Pope headed for Sydney where later this week he will join the World Youth Day festival which has attracted more than 200,000 people.

While being warmly welcomed by some, the issue of sexual abuse has rocked the Catholic Church, and has provoked support groups in Australia to demand that the Pope makes a formal apology.

Earlier this year, Benedict said he was deeply ashamed of the abuse scandal in which local churches in several countries were revealed to have moved abusers from parish to parish.

The exact number of Australian victims is unknown although activists say it runs into thousands.

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