Pope John Paul the Second urges Catholics to reflect on the protection of children during lent this year.
The pope held an Ash Wednesday mass at the Vatican. He said children worldwide must be protected from all kinds of violence and exploitation, including sexual abuse.
However, the Pope did not mention the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked Catholic churches in the U.S.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of lent, a 40-day period of abstinence and reflection. Lent ends on Easter Sunday, the day of Christ's resurrection.
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