Pope Benedict XVI today said the Catholic Church must "make penitence" for its "sins," Italy's ANSA news agency reports.
It adds that:
"The pope's words at the ceremony attended by the Pontifical Biblical Commission appeared set to be seen as his first public apology for the latest string of (sex) abuse scandals to hit the Church. The pope made a written apology for clerical sex abuse in an Easter letter to Irish Catholics but has not spoken out publicly about the growing scandals in Ireland, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Germany and Italy which have shaken trust in the Church."
ANSA quotes the pope as saying "now, under the attacks from the world that speak of our sins, we see that ... it is necessary to make penitence, to recognize what is wrong in our lives."
The Associated Press writes that "the Vatican didn't immediately provide a text, the Mass wasn't televised and a Vatican spokesman said he couldn't immediately confirm the remarks."