Pope Benedict XVI promised today that the Catholic church would take action against sex abuse in the clergy, offering the clearest sign yet that the pontiff will confront the burgeoning scandal head-on. But his remarks, made during his weekly public address in St. Peter’s Square, gave no hint as to how the Vatican plans will deal with the all-important issue of clerical cover-ups. The Church has been rocked by evidence that bishops and other senior prelates protected known abusers by moving them from parish to parish, where they continued to work with young people. Such allegations have reached all the way up to the pope himself, who as an archbishop was informed of sex abuse cases involving priests, and as a cardinal was in charge of the Vatican office that oversaw discipline of clergy members. The Vatican officials are expected to make a formal announcement tomorrow outlining their response to the scandal.