Pope meets victims of sexual abuse before leaving Sydney today


Sydney, Jul 20, 2008 / 10:48 pm (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI met four victims of child sex abuse this morning at a private mass held at St. Mary’s Cathedral House. Two women and two men, aged in their 30’s, who wished to remain anonymous, celebrated Mass with the Pope, who listed to their stories and offered the consolation.

“Assuring them of his spiritual closeness, the Holy Father promised to continue to pray for them, their families and all victims,” according to a press statement released today by the Holy See Press Office,

“Through his paternal gesture, the Holy Father wished to demonstrate again his deep concern for all those who have suffered sexual abuse.”

This meeting follows the Pope’s apology to sexual abuse of minors by members of the Catholic Church in Australia, where he said he was “deeply sorry,” for the pain and suffering victims had endured.
The Archdiocese of Sydney says its Professional Standard Office nominated four victims to meet the Holy Father at this meeting.

“The Holy Father’s meeting with victims reflects the continuing commitment of the whole church in Australia to bring healing and justice to those who have been terribly hurt by sexual abuse.”