Nightly News | April 01, 2010
>> a beautiful night . thanks.
>>> this is holy thursday at the vatican today, pope benedict celebrated mass. he was surrounded by the faithful and while he did not mention it today, he is also now surrounded by a growing scandal during the holiest week of the calendar for christians. our own anne thomson has our report tonight from rome.
>> reporter: today's washing of the feet by pope benedict , the ancient rite of humility contrasts with the strong words in his defense from vatican officials.
>> he's a witness of clarity of the season of transparency in all the problem of the sexual abuses.
>> reporter: cardinal william levada accused "the new york times" of unfairness in its reporting about what the pope, then cardinal joseph ratzinger knew about two cases of pedophile priests. inferring responsibility to the pope when levada says decisions were made by others. "i ask "the times" to reconsider its attack mode about pope benedict xvi and give the world a more balanced view of the leader it can and should count on." "the times" stands by its reporting. in vienna, a cardinal led the service for those abused by priests, where victims spoke and the cardinal asked for forgiveness on behalf of the church.
>> translator: some of us spoke of the love of god and did evil to those who most need protection.
>> reporter: outside los angeles ' cathedral, words of anger offer the discovery of a 1963 letter to pope paul vi from the man then in charge of treating abusive priests in the u.s.
>> the church knew about this.
>> reporter: some may see a paper trail leading to the vatican , legal experts say it will be difficult to hold this pope responsible in u.s. courts.
>> i think it will be very difficult to prove that the holy father himself was in control of this situation.
>> reporter: mired in controversy, the church and its rituals nevertheless endure, in this its most