Pope Benedict XVI addressed the sexual-abuse crisis from the seat of the Roman Catholic Church before thousands of priests on Friday and begged forgiveness, saying the church would do everything possible to prevent more abuse.
The pope attended a celebration commemorating the end of the Vatican's Year of the Priest, designed to encourage "spiritual perfection" in priests, in St. Peter's Square.
"We, too, insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again," Benedict said.
He did not offer an outline of actions the Catholic Church will take to combat abuse, something Benedict pledged to an audience in April, The New York Timesreported.
The closing ceremonies are the first time Benedict asked forgiveness for the abuse from attendees. He also assigned blamed for the scandal, saying the devil wants "God driven out of the world."
"We will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey so that the Lord will protect them and watch over them in troubled situations and amid life's dangers," Benedict said in regard to training men for the priesthood.