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Pope meets abuse victims in Australia

| July 20, 2008 at 08:37 pm

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI met privately on Monday with Australians who were sexually abused as children by priests, in a gesture of contrition and concern over a scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic church.

Pope Benedict XVI concludes his World Youth Day activities Monday by thanking volunteers in Sydney.

Pope Benedict XVI concludes his World Youth Day activities Monday by thanking volunteers in Sydney.

The pontiff held prayers and spoke with four representatives of abuse victims — two men and two women — in the last hours of a nine-day visit to Australia for the church’s global youth festival.

The abuse scandal was a sour undertone to the trip. On Saturday, Benedict delivered a forthright apology for the scandal, saying he was “deeply sorry” for the victims’ suffering.

But victims’ supporters said this was not enough and have demanded that Benedict do more to provide financial compensation and psychological help for them. (more…)