VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict met today with a group of sex abuse victims in Malta. Here is the Vatican’s statement on the encounter:
PRESS RELEASE: MEETING OF THE POPE WITH A GROUP OF PERSONS WHO WERE SEXUALLY ABUSED
On Sunday 18 April 2010, in the Apostolic Nunciature in Malta, the Holy Father met a small group of persons who were sexually abused by members of the clergy.
He was deeply moved by their stories and expressed his shame and sorrow over what victims and their families have suffered. He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future.
In the spirit of his recent Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, he prayed that all the victims of abuse would experience healing and reconciliation, enabling them to move forward with renewed hope.
I pray for the Holy Father. I pray for our Church. I pray for all the dedicated priests who have given so much to the church, to us, and to God, who are unjustly blamed for the terrible acts of a small minority of their brother priests. I pray also for the criminals and their victims. And yes, they are criminals and sinners and much in need of our prayers.