Cardinal O’Malley on meeting with victims

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley holds a book containing over 1,000 names of known Boston victims of clergy sexual abuse that was presented to Pope Benedict XVI at a meeting between the Holy Father and five survivors of sexual abuse by clergy April 17. Pilot photo/Courtesy Barbara ThorpCardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston gave an interview to his archdiocesan newspaper, The Pilot, headlined “Cardinal reflects on apostolic visit, meeting with victims.” We’re working on a story on it for today.

In the interview, Cardinal O’Malley calls the presentation of a book of names of abuse victims (left) to the pope a “very poignant moment in the visit.”

… over 1,000 names, first names, done in calligraphy and very beautifully and artistically prepared, with prayers and other reflections interspersed among the names. It was a way to try to underline the fact that the meeting was to be representative of all the victims, not just the ones who were there, or even the ones whose names appeared in the book, and also to underscore the dimension of the problem. The names in the book represent names that have come to us, of cases that have come to us in the last 50 years.

John Allen at the National Catholic Reporter also had details of the meeting in his online column posted last Friday.

Also interesting were Cardinal O’Malley’s comments in the interview about the pope’s health, especially given the French newspaper speculation over the weekend alleging that the pope is in poor health.

I was just pleased that the Holy Father seemed to hold up so well during the trip. It was an exhausting trip. Many people are commenting how quickly he went up the steps and his obvious enthusiasm. For an 81-year-old who has not had the greatest health it was truly a “tour de force.”

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