Catholics around the world were waiting on Pope Benedict XVI to make an Easter statement on the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church.
Benedict has made just one statement so far - to the Irish faithful on March 20. Easter Sunday saw millions waiting for word from the Vatican on the global impact of the pedophile priests. Benedict celebrated Easter Vigil on Saturday and focused on life, death and immortality.
As he celebrated mass in St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano denounced the "vile defamation campaign" against him.
The newspaper made its remarks as Benedict focused on life, death, and immortality, pondering what would happen if modern medicine could remove death altogether.
"Would that be a good thing?" he asked. "Humanity would become extraordinarily old, there would be no more room for youth. Capacity for innovation would die and endless life would be no paradise, if anything a condemnation," he said.
Rather than prolonging death, he said, baptism offers the "medicine of immortality." Benedict didn't directly refer to the scandal in his homily, which commemorated the night when Christians believe Christ rose from the dead.