ROME (AP) — Retired Pope Benedict XVI is asking forgiveness for any “grievous faults” in his handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

But he is not admitting to any personal or specific wrongdoing after an independent report criticized his actions in four cases while he was archbishop of Munich, Germany.

Benedict’s lack of a personal apology or admission of guilt immediately riled sex abuse survivors, who said his response reflected the Catholic hierarchy’s “permanent” refusal to accept responsibility for the rape and sodomy of children by priests.

The report from a German law firm had been commissioned by the German church to look into how cases of sexual abuse were handled in the Munich archdiocese that the retired pope had led from 1977 to 1982.