Pope begs forgiveness, promises action on abuse

(AP) - Pope Benedict XVI has begged forgivenessfrom clerical abuse victims and promised to "do everythingpossible" to ensure priests don't rape and molest children everagain.

Benedict made the pledge during a Mass Friday in St. Peter'sSquare marking the end of the Vatican's Year of the Priest, ayearlong celebration of the priesthood that has been marred byrevelations of hundreds of new cases of clerical abuse, cover-upand Vatican inaction to root out pedophiles.

In his homily, Benedict lamented that during what should havebeen a year of joy for the priesthood the "sins of priests came tolight - particularly the abuse of the little ones."

He said the scandal was a call for purification of the church.

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