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Pope Benedict XVI should resign over the Catholic Church's priest paedophilia scandal, the head of a church-backed probe that revealed hundreds of abuse cases in Belgium said Friday.
Child psychologist Peter Adriaenssens was quoted as saying in the Flemish-language newspaper De Morgen that the pope should take responsibility for the crisis.
"The pope should not content himself with just expressing regret," Adriaenssens said. "He should offer his resignation."
"We should be able to say that after everything that has taken place within the Church, one person is taking responsibility," he said. "Since the problem is not just in Belgium but has spread worldwide, the pope must set an example."
Adriaenssens released on September 10 a report by a commission he led which revealed that nearly 500 people reported abuses by priests since the 1950s and 13 victims committed suicide.
Revelations of abuse carried out by priests in Belgium, Ireland, the pope's native Germany and the United States have plunged the Catholic Church into its worst crisis in decades.
The pope expressed sorrow and shame in a meeting with victims of clerical abuse during his four-day visit to Britain last month.
© 2010 AFP
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