Sunday, 13 July 2008

Pope Benedict in Australia

Pope Benedict XVI has begun a nine-day visit to Australia, where he is due to apologise for decades of sexual abuse of children by priests.
As he began the longest foreign trip of his papacy, he said paedophilia was "incompatible" with being a priest.

Australian abuse victims have said they will hold protests during his visit.
Climate change will also be a leading theme at a major Catholic youth festival, World Youth Day, which the Pope is heading in Sydney.
The event is expected to draw some 200,000 young Catholics to the city.
But the six-day event has been overshadowed by the launch of an investigation into sexual abuse allegations.

The leader of Australia's Catholics, Cardinal George Pell, has come under criticism for his handling of a 1982 case allegedly involving the sexual abuse of 29-year-old man by a priest.
The BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney says that many victims want the Pope to directly criticise the Australian Catholic hierarchy for its handling of abuse allegations.

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