The Pope has formally apologised for sexual abuse in the Catholic church in Australia, and called on the perpetrators to face justice. Benedict XVI went to Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral facing calls from victims of abuse for a public apology. The Pope said sexual abuse by clergy had damaged the image of the Catholic church. “I am deeply sorry for the pain and the suffering the victims have endured, and I assure them that as a pastor, I too share in their suffering,” he said.
Victims say an apology is not enough; the Pope should also launch an open investigation of abuse. They claim the Catholic church in Australia continues to try to cover up abuse.
Broken Rites is a group representing sexual abuse victims in Australia. It has a list of more than a hundred convictions for abuse by clergy, but believes there could be thousands more victims because so few cases go to court. The church re-opened a 25-year old abuse case in Australia, just days before Benedict arrived.