Thursday, April 17, 2008

He Apologized... He Understood

Already known as the "Boston Five," members of the group of victim-survivors who met with Pope Benedict earlier today have given extended interviews to both CNN and NPR.

Snip from the former:
The exchanges were frank and unscripted, according to some of the victims.

"I told him that he has a cancer growing in his ministry and needs to do something about it," Bernie McDaid said in an exclusive interview with CNN.

But McDaid said he came away from the meeting feeling that there was real hope that this time the problem would be addressed, with action to follow.

"I don't go to Mass, but today I went with my mother, and his sermon there and his apology about the sexual abuse blew me away, and I had tears in my eyes that I wasn't ready to have. It was an incredible moment for me."

Another victim said his hope was also restored after meeting Benedict.

"He first apologized," Olan Horne said. "He seemed to intrinsically understand what we were talking about."

Horne said the victims were allowed the time necessary to say what needed to be said, which impressed him.

"I'm from Missouri, 'show me,' and today I saw," Horne said.

Faith Johnston said she was praying for the strength to say the right thing to the pope, but when the time came, emotions took over.

"I didn't end up saying anything. I got up to him, and I burst into tears. But I don't think any words I could have said; I think my tears alone spoke so much."
In not a few quarters, today's gathering has been described as "surprising" or "unexpected." For accuracy's sake, though, an expected meeting and its anticipated procedure was actually treated at length on NPR Monday morning.

Yet again, the question's not one of "surprise"... just paying attention.