Pope says clerical abuse 'undermines' Catholic Church
Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday paedophile priests scandals had seriously weakened the moral credibility of the Catholic Church, on the final day of his state visit to Britain.
The pope told a meeting of British bishops that the "shameful abuse of children and young people" by priests and nuns "seriously undermines the moral credibility of Church leaders".
The leader of the Catholic Church has expressed sorrow for the abuse of children by Catholic priests several times during his four-day visit to Britain.
On Saturday, he condemned the "unspeakable crimes" committed by paedophile priests and said in a homily at Westminster Cathedral they had brought "shame and humiliation" on the Church and caused "immense suffering".
In a meeting Saturday with five abuse victims in London, he expressed his "shame" and "deep sorrow".
Revelations of abuse carried out by priests in Ireland, Belgium, the pope's native Germany and the United States have plunged the Catholic Church into its worst crisis in decades.
© 2010 AFP