Pope Benedict left Rome Saturday for Australia, where he will join hundreds of thousands of young people celebrating World Youth Day.
The pope told reporters that he would use his 10-day pilgrimage to Australia to offer apologies to victims of sexual abuse by priests, as he did during his recent trip to the United States.
He called such abuse "incompatible" with behavior required of priests.
In a telegram to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano just before leaving, the pope said he was filled with a great desire to meet the youth of the entire world to exhort them to become courageous witnesses of the love of Christ.
The pope will arrive in Darwin, Australia on Sunday.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.