Pope Meets With Abuse Victims

Offers consolation, apologies
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2008 2:14 AM CDT
Pope Meets With Abuse Victims
Pope Benedict XVI gestures to the pilgrims during the Final Mass at World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Pope Benedict XVI met privately today with four victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Australia, celebrated mass with them, listened to their stories and consoled them before flying out of the country, reports the Australian. The meeting with the two men and two women came a day after the Pope said publicly he was "deeply sorry" for sexual abuse by members of the Australian clergy.

"These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation," he said. "Those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice."  Australian Archdiocese officials hailed the meeting, saying it was consistent with the Australian church's commitment to "healing and justice" for sex abuse victims. (More Pope Benedict XVI stories.)

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