Pope Benedict XVI takes rap for ‘sins within’
The Pope has admitted for the first time that the Catholic Church must accept responsibility for the child sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed it. Speaking on a visit to Portugal yesterday, Benedict XVI said “sins inside the church” must be blamed, rather than “outside enemies”. He added that “forgiveness is no substitute for justice” and that the church had to “relearn prayer and penance”. His comments were hailed from within the Vatican hierarchy, with one senior figure on the Pope’s staff saying it amounted to a “sea change” in the way that the church is dealing with the scandals.