Saturday, April 19, 2008

benedict xvi meets with victims of abuse

The pope is here this week, and I have casually watched some of the proceedings, the mass today at St. Patrick's Cathedral, the address yesterday at the United Nations. I came across this articile today in the Boston Globe. Boston was the epicenter of the priest abuse scandal, in regard to both the damage to young children and the equally harmful ecclesial responses characterized by denial, avoidance and blame of the victims. I found this article to be very moving for a number of reasons: it displays true pastoral integrity on the part of the present cardinal of Boston; it shows the humanity of the present Pope; and it acknowledges, in a way that is true to the church's highest nature, the need for forgiveness, reconciliation and pastoral meeting. Reading this actually brought tears to my eyes: it reminded me that the church is an institution, and yet the church is also an earthen vessel (2 Corinthians 4. 7), with the power belonging to God, and not to us. This side of heaven, the damage done to young boys and girls is irrevocable, I am sure; and yet there is the sense, in reading about this encounter, that men and women are being set free, the old passing away, the new coming into being.

Read it all.


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