As news of the death of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI made its way Stateside, one of the first reactions came from Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, who reminisced on the “deep pastoral care” the pontiff demonstrated in a meeting with clergy sex abuse survivors on a pastoral visit to the U.S. in 2008.
It was a significant moment not just in Benedict’s pontificate but in church history, as it was the first time a pope met with and apologized to clergy sex abuse survivors.
“It was a great privilege for me to be present at this meeting, as the Holy Father, in very personal ways, demonstrated his deep pastoral care for the survivors,” O’Malley said.
“Pope Benedict XVI recognized the pain experienced by survivors and all persons impacted by the abuse crisis,” O’Malley continued. “He was then, and at all times remained, committed to the Church supporting their journey towards healing and doing all that was possible to ensure protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults.”US Catholics recall Benedict XVI as theologian, teacher and pastor | Crux