France's Roman Catholic bishops say in a letter to Pope Benedict XVI that they are ashamed of priests who committed "abominable acts" by molesting and raping children.
The French bishops have written in a letter to the pope "those who carried out these acts have disfigured the church, wounded Christian communities and cast suspicion on all the members of the clergy."
They say they "all feel shame and regret when faced with the abominable acts carried out by certain priests."
The bishops also addressed a message of support to the pope, saying the sexual abuse "is being used in a campaign to attack you personally."
The French bishops' letter was released Friday after they met in Lourdes, site of the famous Catholic shrine.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.