Detail of the book of victims presented to Pope Benedict. Pilot photo / Courtesy John Souza
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(Last week) was quite an eventful week, to say the least. The Holy Father’s apostolic visit to the United States ended last Sunday, after a Mass at Yankee stadium in New York City.
When planning a papal visit, so many things can go wrong -- and when you are Irish, you expect all of them to go wrong! It was so beautiful that everything -- even the weather -- cooperated. The Holy Father’s visit was very uplifting and a grace-filled moment for the Catholics of our country.
The Holy Father had an-nounced that his message was going to be “Christ our Hope,” and it certainly has given all of us a lot of hope in the Lord and in the future of our Church.
A very special moment for me and for the Archdiocese of Boston took place on Thursday (April 24) when the Holy Father met with five survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
The following day, on the day of the Holy Father’s anniversary, the other American cardinals and I had a wonderful opportunity to have dinner with him in the residence of the nuncio to the Vatican mission to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore. I want to share with you that at that event, the Holy Father told me how moved he was by that meeting with the victims the day before.
At that meeting with the victims, we handed the Holy Father a book with the first names of over 1,000 victims. It was very well done, with all the names written in calligraphy and very artistically done. With the book, we tried to convey that those survivors attending were representing all victims, even those whose names were not written. The names in the book correspond with those who came to us in the archdiocese to report abuse in the last 50 years.
Also in this week’s blog:
> Boston Catholic Men and Women’s Conferences
> Mass at Yankee Stadium
> Annual banquet of the Pro-life Legal Defense Fund