Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pope Benedict heads to US to heal sex scandal wounds:

Pope Benedict XVI vowed Tuesday to heal the open wounds disfiguring the US Roman Catholic church following decades of abuse by pedophile priests, saying he felt "deeply ashamed" over the child sex scandal.

"Paedophilia is completely incompatible with the practice of ministry. It is better to have good priests rather than have many," the pope was quoted by Italy's ANSA news agency as saying as he travelled here for his first visit to North America since his election to the papacy in 2005.

But a former Benedictine priest said the remarks were too little, too late, and a support group for victims of predator priests dismissed them as meaningless.

"It's a great public relations statement, but it's 25 years too late," Patrick Wall, who left the church 10 years ago over the child sex scandal, told AFP.

"As chief enforcer for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for 24 years, he had the power and the jurisdiction to stop this, but he did nothing," Wall said.

4:35 PM