Victims of sexual abuse yesterday exited a long-sought meeting with Pope Benedict XVI moved by his compassion and inspired by hope. "He apologized," one of them told CNN after the talk in a Washington chapel. "He seemed to intrinsically understand what we were talking about." Benedict listened to personal accounts of abuse by priests and prayed in what was believed to be his first-ever meeting with victims.
"I told him he has a cancer in his ministry and needs to do something about it," said another victim, who also attended the pope's mass. "His sermon and apology blew me away, and I had tears in my eyes that I wasn't ready to have." Another victim was so overcome with emotion that she couldn't speak. "I burst into tears," she said. "I think my tears alone spoke so much."