Thorp also worked with the cardinal to create an opportunity for a group of clergy sexual abuse survivors to meet Pope Benedict XVI during his 2008 visit to Washington, D.C.
At the meeting the survivors presented the Holy Father a book containing over 1,000 names of known Boston victims of clergy sexual abuse.
"For the vicar of Christ ... to have that chance to meet with survivors was very important," she said.
In public events to promote healing after the crisis came to light, Thorp traveled beyond local parishes and beyond the United States to help address the crisis elsewhere in the world.
In 2010 and 2011 she traveled with Cardinal O'Malley on an apostolic visit to Dublin, Ireland on behalf of the Holy Father.
"Cardinal Seán was invited to visit the Archdiocese of Dublin to try to bring the care of the Holy Father to the archdiocese, but also, significantly, to bring a report back to him about what he learned about what had happened in the Dublin archdiocese and the Church in Ireland," she said.
Thorp told The Pilot she could never have walked the course of the ministry without the aid and support of the people in her offices and the offices supporting her work.
Cardinal O'Malley thanked Thorp for her years of service to the Church in Boston.
"Barbara Thorp has been a beacon of hope for survivors and their families. Her care, concern and compassion have been essential in bringing healing to many survivors and their families, and to the wider community of the Church," he said.
"These last ten years have been life changing for everyone impacted by the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse. I have relied on Barbara's sound judgment and expertise in responding to the needs of survivors. We give thanks for her decades of service to the people of God and we ask the Lord's blessing on Barbara and her family," he added.
The Cardinal reaffirmed the Church's commitment to protect children and address the lasting effects of the crisis through the Office for Pastoral Support and Child Protection as the archdiocese seeks a new director.
"I want to reassure the people we serve that while we are losing a dedicated and exceptional leader, our highest priority remains our commitment to child protection and the bond of pastoral care that we owe to those harmed. Our goal is to appoint a director who can carry on the work of Barbara and her staff," he said.
Thorp said she believes the archdiocese will strengthen the programs which developed during her tenure, even after she steps away.
"The archdiocese has made extraordinary commitments and has lived by those commitments and developed them over these passed ten some years. I think there is certainly every indication that we plan to continue that into the future," she said.
She said spiritual healing for those harmed by the crisis will remain a priority.
"Spiritual healing for survivors and their families is I think a great task for the present, but certainly I would say for many years into the future," she said.
|Page 2 of 2
If you found this article interesting please consider helping us continue to spread the Good News.