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Pope's Holy Thursday Mass dedicated to priests as clergy scandals rock church

VATICAN CITY (AP) - With the Catholic church buffeted by clergy scandals, Pope Benedict has dedicated his Holy Thursday Mass to the priesthood.

Benedict urged priests to oppose violence, while making no mention of the sex abuse scandals.

The Vatican described the Mass as a sign of strict union between Benedict and his fellow clergy.

Abuse victims have been demanding that Benedict take responsibility for what they say were decades of systematic cover-ups by church hierarchy of clergy abuse.

He'll continue Holy Week events tonight by washing the feet of a dozen priests -- a traditional sign of humility.


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