Priests are a gift to church and the world: Pope

Recently, Benedict begged pardon from abuse victims. Today he lauded priests.

Last Updated: Jun 13, 2010, 19:03 PM IST

Vatican City: The Pope is publicly applauding priests for being a "gift" to both the church and the world, despite the clergy abuse scandals that have saddened or angered many Catholics.
Pope Benedict XVI says priests — from saints and martyrs to the unheralded pastors toiling in tiny parishes — have been key to bringing what he called authentic spiritual and social renewal throughout history.

The Pope, who was addressing pilgrims Sunday in St. Peter`s Square, made no mention of the scandals tainting the church. He said God`s love gives priests the ability to forgive their enemies.

On Friday, Benedict begged forgiveness from victims of priests who sexually abused them and made a symbolic pledge to do everything possible to protect children.
Bureau Report