Pope Benedict XVI has admitted in a speech that certain members of the church “violated rights” of children.

In a speech to members of the Pontifical Council for the Family the Pope stated:

“While the church’s mission was to protect minors, unfortunately, in different instances, certain of its members went against this commitment and violated rights.”

The Pope been accused by many for not taking a strong enough stand against the abuse of children in the Church.

Last November the Pope received condemnation for taking two weeks to make official comment on a spate of child abuse cases in Ireland.

Four Irish bishops have tendered their resignations and church leaders have been summoned to Rome next week to discuss the scandals.

A separate report published in Ireland in May said the rape and beating of children was “endemic” in church-run institutions from the 1930s.

Pope Benedict XVI announced on Friday that he would be visiting Scotland when he comes to the UK later this year.

The Pope will visit Scotland between 17th and 19th September. During his stay the Pope will meet with priests and have a private audience with the Queen at Birkhall.

Catholic Church officials and the government are now negotiating who will pick up the rest of the estimated £20 million tab. A Papal visit in 1982 was funded by the church and left it heavily in debt.

The Pope has been outspoken on issues such as gay equality, abortion and birth control and protests are being planned over his visit.