Pope Plans to Apologize for Sexual Abuse

SYDNEY, Australia -- Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Australia on Sunday, saying he wants to use his visit to raise awareness about global warming and address the crisis of clergy sexual abuse.

Benedict suggested to reporters on the flight from the Vatican that he would express regret about abuse by priests, though victims' groups are demanding he go further and make a direct formal apology.

The clergy abuse scandal is a serious note in the pope's 10-day visit to Australia -- his first -- during which he will join the World Youth Day festival that has attracted more than 200,000 people.

During the flight, Benedict told reporters he would work for "healing and reconciliation with the victims" of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Australia "just as I did in the United States."

At the start of a U.S. visit earlier this year, Benedict said he was "deeply ashamed" of the abuse scandal and pledged to work to make sure pedophiles do not become priests.