VATICAN CITY – The Vatican's No. 2 official says Pope Benedict XVI recognizes the damage and pain caused by the clergy sex abuse crisis and will seek healing during his U.S. trip next week.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press that Benedict will deliver a message of "trust and hope."
The pope turns 81 during the trip. Bertone says Benedict is fit but could not meet all the invitations from U.S. cities and had to limit himself to Washington and New York.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden recently accused the pope of helping in a "new Crusade," but Bertone says the Vatican has faith in American security services to keep the pope safe.
The cardinal is the Vatican secretary of state.