Protect children from evil, Pontiff tells his priests
POPE Benedict urged priests yesterday to safeguard children in their charge from evil and win the "absolute" trust of their flock, even as his own papacy is clouded by accusations he failed to protect minors adequately from paedophile clergy.
Since a trip to Malta a week earlier, when he wept with adults who had been sexually abused, Benedict seems to be stepping up his reaction to the scandal which poses the most challenging crisis in decades for the Catholic Church.
Benedict, speaking in St Peter's Square, told priests they must "fight for the defence of the flock", defend their charges from "evil" and ensure that the faithful can place "absolute trust" in their pastors.
He urged them to model themselves on Jesus who, "with immense tenderness, safeguards his flock and defends it from evil".