The Pope's Meeting with Sex-Abuse Victims

I spoke with Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley about the pope's meeting with a small group of sex-abuse victims at the Vatican Embassy Thursday afternoon. He seemed very affected by it and said that he wasn't ready to talk about it except to say that it was prayerful and, he hoped, healing.

It must have been quite a meeting. The shy academic, as the pope has been described, and five people who went through hell at the hands of some of the priests in his flock. Apparently there were tears and there were prayers. Maybe it will help with the healing.

Here's the Vatican's statement:

Today at 4:15 p.m. the Holy Father met in the chapel at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C., with a small group of persons who were sexually abused by members of the clergy.

The Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, accompanied the group. They prayed with the Holy Father, who afterwards listened to their personal accounts and offered them words of encouragement and hope.

His Holiness assured them of his prayers for their intentions, for their families and for all victims of sexual abuse.

By Jacqueline L. Salmon |  April 17, 2008; 8:21 PM ET
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