Pope meets abuse victims in Sydney

Pope Benedict XVI pauses during a thank-you gathering with World Youth Day volunteers in Sydney, Australia, July 21. Earlier in the morning, the pope met with clerical sex abuse victims at St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Benedict XVI pauses during a thank-you gathering with World Youth Day volunteers in Sydney, Australia, July 21. Earlier in the morning, the pope met with clerical sex abuse victims at St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

(Editor’s Update: Full story here)

DARWIN, Australia (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI celebrated a 7 a.m. Mass in the chapel of the rectory at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, July 21, with four victims of clerical sex abuse in attendance. The victims were two men and two women, accompanied by supporters and by priest in charge of offering them pastoral assistance. After the Mass, the pope spoke to each individually and allowed them to share their story. Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi called it a “concrete gesture to express the feelings he had demonstrated,” earlier when the pope publically apologized to victims.

The Vatican told members of the media about the Mass with victims when they arrived at the airport Monday in Sydney, Australia, for the pope’s return flight to Rome from World Youth Day.

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