13 Mar 2010

German church apologizes for sexual abuse

12:30 pm on 13 March 2010

After a meeting with Pope Benedict, the head of Germany's Catholics, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, has apologised to victims of sexual abuse by priests

Nearly 200 cases of alleged abuse by German priests have come to light, deepening a Catholic paedophile scandal that has already hit institutions in Ireland, the Netherlands and Austria.

The Archbishop of Vienna has suggested that the Catholic Church should examine celibacy and priests' training but Pope Benedict has defended celibacy among priests, saying it is a sign of full devotion to the Church.

He was speaking at a theological conference before meeting Archbishop Zollitsch.