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Pope Benedict XVI condemns Catholic child molesters

AFP

Tuesday, February 09, 2010    

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VATICAN CITY, Italy (AFP) -- Pope Benedict XVI yesterday again condemned Roman Catholics who have violated children's rights, a week before a meeting with Irish bishops over a sex abuse scandal.

"The church, over the centuries... has promoted the protection of the rights and dignity of minors," the pope said on the 20th anniversary of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"Unfortunately, in several cases, some of its members, acting against this commitment, have violated these rights: a behaviour the Church does and will deplore and condemn," the pontiff told the general assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Repeated revelations of paedophile priests have rocked the Roman Catholic church in recent months.

In November, it emerged that church authorities in Ireland covered up for priests who abused children in the mainly Catholic country for three decades.

Four Irish bishops have resigned and Pope Benedict has summoned Irish bishops to the Vatican for a meeting February 15-16.

Last month, an elite Jesuit school in Berlin admitted systematic sexual abuse of teenagers by at least two priests in the 1970s and 1980s.

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