Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday the Roman Catholic Church has not been vigilant enough or fast enough in responding to the problem of sexual abuse by priests.
"These revelations were for me a shock and a great sadness. It is difficult to understand how this perversion of the priestly ministry was possible," he told reporters aboard his plane to Scotland. "How a man who has done this and said this can fall into this perversion is difficult to understand."
He added, "It is also a great sadness that the authorities of the church were not sufficiently vigilant and insufficiently quick and decisive in taking the necessary measures."
A group representing priestly abuse victims promptly criticized the pope's remarks, saying he should have called for more.