Pope Watch

Vatican in Damage-Control Mode

Too little, too late? “The Vatican has gone into full-fledged damage control mode in the priest sex abuse scandal ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's first foreign trip since it erupted,” says the Associated Press. The Church is promising a new, more aggressive stance, vowing more transparency, and telling bishops to report abuse cases. The Vatican’s No. 2 official said that the pope will take further initiatives, while the pope’s personal secretary defended him: "It is overlooked too fast that various bishops and bishops' conferences carry responsibility." The pope travels to Malta this weekend; abuse victims on the island have asked for a papal audience and apology.