(ROME)(WTHI) - The leader of the Catholic church expresses sympathy for victims of sexual abuse linked to the church.
Pope Benedict the 16th made the comments while speaking to a group of U.S. Bishops visiting Rome. The Pope says the church made efforts to investigate the problem.
Sexual abuse scandals and allegations of cover-ups have surrounded the church over the past several years.
According to a recent study, more than 10,000 people have reported molestations by a U.S. priest since 1950.
Churches here in the U.S. have paid two billion dollars in settlements to victims since 1992.
The pope acknowledged the abuses and promised to handle any allegations appropriately in the coming years.
Pope Benedict XVI, of the Roman Catholic Church says, "It is my hope that the Church's conscientious efforts to confront this reality will help the broader community to recognize the causes, true extent and devastating consequences of sexual abuse."
Last year Pope Benedict begged forgiveness from the victims.
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