Look to God for answers, says pope

SYDNEY - Pope Benedict arrived in Australia yesterday for an international Catholic youth festival and promised to apologise for a sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the church there.

SYDNEY - Pope Benedict arrived in Australia yesterday for an international Catholic youth festival and promised to apologise for a sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the church there.

The 81-year-old pontiff arrived in Sydney from Rome to start the 10-day trip, the longest of his pontificate so far and the first to the Pacific.

In a message to young Australians the pope urged them to look to God for answers to their deep questions about the meaning of their lives.

"Many young people today lack hope. They are perplexed by the questions that present themselves ever more urgently in a confusing world, and they are often uncertain which way to turn for answers," he said.

The pope said everything possible would be done to prevent a recurrence of Australia's sexual abuse crisis and to promote healing among the victims.

Broken Rites, a group which represents abuse victims in Australia, has a list of 107 convictions for sexual abuse, but says the number is higher.

Victims say the Catholic Church in Australia continues to cover up abuse by clergy. - Reuters

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