Pope Benedict XVI met and prayed Sunday with a group of victims who were sexually abused by pedophile priests in the Catholic nation of Malta.
This is the first time he met with the eight men since the abuse scandal broke earlier this year.
"I said, 'Pope, you pray for me, and I hope you feel the emptiness which another priest like you took from me for at least 25 years, because I lost faith,'" Lawrence Grech, who was among the group of victims, said to the pope.
The pope promised them he would implement effective measures to insure such abuse does not happen again.
"The church is doing - and will continue to do - all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measure designed to safeguard young people in the future," the Vatican statement said.
He also promised to bring justice to those priests found guilty.
Groups that represent abuse victims say apologies are nice, but cannot replace criminal prosecution.
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