Ex-pope Benedict asks for forgiveness over abuse scandal

Benedict thanks his successor Pope Francis for his support.

File photo
File photo


Published: Tue 8 Feb 2022, 4:34 PM

Former pope Benedict XVI asked for forgiveness Tuesday over clerical sex abuse of children that occurred under his watch in senior roles in the Catholic Church.

"Once again I can only express to all the victims of sexual abuse my profound shame, my deep sorrow and my heartfelt request for forgiveness," the 94-year-old said in a letter published by the Vatican.

"I have had great responsibilities in the Catholic Church. All the greater is my pain for the abuses and the errors that occurred in those different places during the time of my mandate."

Benedict thanked his successor Pope Francis for his support following allegations the ex-pontiff failed to act against paedophile priests while archbishop of Munich.

In a letter, in response to the German inquiry published last month, which also referenced claims - strongly denied - that Benedict lied to the report authors, the 94-year-old wrote: "I am particularly grateful for the confidence, support and prayer that Pope Francis personally expressed to me."

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