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Cardinal reflects on apostolic visit, meeting with victims


Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley holds a book containing over 1,000 names of known Boston victims of clergy sexual abuse that was presented to Pope Benedict XVI at a meeting between the Holy Father and five survivors of sexual abuse by clergy April 17. Pilot photo/Courtesy Barbara Thorp.

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BRIGHTON -- In an April 23 interview with The Pilot, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, shared his thoughts on the Holy Father’s six-day trip to the United States.

Q: How would you summarize the Holy Father’s trip?

A: The Holy Father chose as the theme for his apostolic visit, “Christ our Hope.” I think he brought us closer to Christ by his presence and filled our hearts with hope in Christ’s promises and in our future as his people.

Q: The consensus in the media is that the Holy Father’s visit has been a great success for the Church in the U.S. Are you surprised by that assessment? Were you expecting instead a more critical attitude in the secular media?

A: Well, I know some people in the media like to be very critical of the Church. However, I was confident that as people saw the Holy Father up close that they could not help but be impressed by his personality, by his intelligence, by his obvious holiness. In that sense I am not surprised that the people were so disarmed by being able to see him as he really is and to listen to his words.

Q; It was a busy trip...

A: I was just pleased that the Holy Father seemed to hold up so well during the trip. It was an exhausting trip. Many people are commenting how quickly he went up the steps and his obvious enthusiasm. For an 81-year-old who has not had the greatest health it was truly a “tour de force.”

Q: Which was your personal interaction with the Holy Father?

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