According to a news agency report, Pope's call for repentance figured in the homily at a Mass inside the Vatican for members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
"I must say, we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word 'repent', which seemed too tough. But now under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins ... we realize that it's necessary to repent, in other words, recognize what is wrong in our lives," a news agency quoted the Pope as saying.
"Open ourselves to forgiveness ... and let ourselves be transformed. The pain of repentance, which is a purification and transformation, is a grace because it is renewal and the work of divine mercy," the Pope said.
The Pope's statement came after repeated demands by the victims of clerical abuse that the Benedict should take responsibility for the abuse. There has been accusation of negligence in handling some cases against the Benedict and the Vatican.
The text of the comments was not immediately made available by the Vatican and the Mass was not broadcast. The Vatican spokesman said he was not in a position to confirm the remarks.
According to Vatican expert Bruno Bartoloni, the latest comments by the Pope were not 'a solemn declaration, but to some extent a form of mea culpa'.