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Pope to Address Sex Abuse Scandal on Tour of Britain

Pope Benedict XVI is on a 4-day visit to Britain where he will meet with Queen Elizabeth II, give a mass to followers and address what has become a global child sex abuse scandal in the Church. From Boston to Belgium, priests have been accused of sexually molesting children and church leaders all the way up to the Vatican have been accused of covering the abuse up.

Pope Benedict XVI has been severely criticized for his alleged role in covering up sex abuse by priests. Civil lawsuits have been brought against the Vatican in the U.S. that accuse the Church of being complicit in child sexual abuse by failing to report known abusers to law enforcement authorities. The Pope has acknowledged that church authorities allowed priests who had sexually abused children to continue working with children. 

The Vatican has denied any direct complicity in the sex crimes of individual priests. The Pope has said he was "shocked and saddened" when he learned the extent of the abuse and is focused on helping victims and working to prevent future sexual abuse.  

Some believe the Pope is doing a good job at addressing the scandal and atoning for it, but the British public appears to be mostly indifferent or angry about the Pope's visit because of fallout from the sex abuse scandal. A report in Belgium this week recounts the stories of hundreds of victims of sexual molestation by Catholic priests.


Pope acknowledges church was slow to act against sex abuse (Los Angeles Times)

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