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April 17th, 2008
05:49 PM ET

Pope healing wounds of church sex abuse scandal?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: AP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The buzz began before the papal plane had even touched down. There were rumors beginning to circulate that Benedict XVI might actually meet with victims of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The Holy Father said he would speak forcefully and directly about the shame the scandal has brought upon the church.

But talking to the victims was something that had never happened, not at that level. And yet for true healing to actually begin this is what was necessary.

And it did. Without fanfare Benedict XVI this afternoon met with a small group of people who were sexually abused by priests. No reporters, no cameras, private, personal, and profound. We are told the Pope listened to their stories and prayed with them.

There is a very long way to go if in fact it is even possible for the Catholic Church to ever overcome the effects of this, but it's a start.

Here’s my question to you: How far has Pope Benedict XVI gone toward healing the wounds of the church's sex abuse scandal?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Suzanne writes:
Hi Jack. The first step is the hardest, and he has taken it: breaking the no-talk rule and walking out of denial and minimization. Victims are re-traumatized by all the suffocating silence that surrounds abuse. With his acknowledgment, victims are validated… and the long healing journey can finally begin.

Tom from Texas writes:
Who cares? If you are still going to the Catholic Church, then it is your problem not the rest of ours.

Brent from Texas writes:
A day late and dollar short is the effort by this pope to solve this problem. The only reason he is addressing it at all is that it has cost the Catholic Church $2 billion and bankrupted several dioceses. Their actions of ignoring this very old problem and leaving thousands of children to the hands of perverts will show that this organized religion is despicable. Good people need to quit kissing the hand of His Holiness and kick his backside. Wake up, please.

Mike writes:
I believe the pope meeting with some of the victims was a very good move. It will go a long way to heal feelings. However, I also believe the wounds will not heal until someone is punished for the horrible crimes that were covered up for so long.

Kim from Dodge City, Kansas writes:
How far is far enough? No one can know for sure. I doubt if this type of behavior can ever be eradicated in a belief system that requires celibacy. It isn't natural, so it breeds deviancy.

Lenny writes:
The pope is way too late as far as I’m concerned. The Catholic Church will never completely recover from this, and rightly so. We probably will never know the hundreds of victims through the years that have suffered. And the sad thing is this can affect the whole family, generation after generation, because a lot of the victims internalize their feelings and never really deal with it properly.

JR from Toronto writes:
With no disrespect to the pope, the last time I saw that look of awe on Wolf's face was when he had Jimmy Page in the Situation Room. What a great picture!


Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Jack, I don't know if there is enough they can do?, but this is as much as I've heard a Pope has done.. I'm glad he at least talked about it. Wolf & the Pope look great in the picture.

    April 17, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  2. Brenton, Dominica

    We all know that the Pope's visit is more symbolic than necessary. The wond is as sore as ever!

    April 17, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  3. Suzanne

    Hi Jack. The first step is the hardest, and he has taken it: breaking the no-talk rule and walking out of denial and minimization. Victims are retraumatized by all the suffocating silence that surrounds abuse. With his acknowledgment, victims are validated, the crime is placed squarely where it belongs (on those who had all the power from the get go), and the long healing journey can finally begin. He sent out the message that all survivors need to hear: it was not your fault, you are good, and you are no longer alone.

    April 17, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  4. Stephon (NM)

    Jack:

    I believe the Pope has done a good job addressing the issue; however, I would like see how he holds those pedophiles responsible, accountable for their actions. Why is it that most pedophile priests escape criminal prosecution? Is there a legal answer to this question; a deal between the U.S. and the Vatican?

    April 17, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  5. Karen

    The Pope needs to make sure he doesn't give the impression that the victims should get over it quickly. He needs to say aloud that they should take all the time they need. He also needs to make sure he tells people, in addition to affirming priests, to be alert and vigilant with young people.

    Karen
    Southern CA

    April 17, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  6. Linda, Ontario

    The Pope admitting the problems existance is the first step............but only the first step...........

    April 17, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  7. mitchell martin ark.

    you mean that guy's the pope?someone said he was the "HOLY FATHER".all this time i thought it was GOD ,that had to fly in here on an airplane.i was so upset,because he didn't show up ,on a HARLEY,like i'd always dreamed.why didn't they take all the catholic children,away from their parents,schools, and churches,like they're doing to the children,in texas?

    April 17, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  8. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Personally I believe that he could tell the people that the people who did this and the bishops that were in charge will be removed from the church and not receive any benefits as they are today and then I believe this would go a long way with others in the church. It has to be no tolerance in this area.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:05 pm |
  9. Robert Las Vegas,Nv.

    I WAS ABUSED AS A 9YR OLD .Ididn`t turn out so bad and have no perminant scars. are these cathlics ,with all their religios fervor unable to forgive.. I say GET OVER IT ..It seems to me they are trying for monitery compensation.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  10. sheila

    Jack, healing began when he addressed the issue. This is what you said below:

    And it did. Without fanfare Benedict XVI this afternoon met with a small group of people who were sexually abused by priests. No reporters, no cameras, private, personal, and profound. We are told the Pope listened to their stories and prayed with them

    WOW! It was about the abused and their pain. How refreshing!!!

    Sheila/Arkansas

    April 17, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  11. leonard sandell

    the pope is way too late as far as im concerned ,the catholic church will never completly recover from this and rightly so ,we probably will never know the hundreds of victims through the years that have suffered ,and the sad thing is this can affect the whole family generation after generation because a lot of the victims internalize there feelings and never really deal with it properly.looks like god isnt doing the job either? lenny sandell

    April 17, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  12. Bailey

    I was raised in the Catholic Church, although I am not a practicing Catholic, I think that the Pope's visit is the most important thing since the sex abuse scandal and the other religious crisises in America.
    Many people do not understand the significance of the Pope as a leader. The Catholic faith is the original faith, with much history and knowlege, regardless of what the many protestants in America think, if the Catholic Church fails they will not be far behind.

    Bailey
    North Carolina

    April 17, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  13. Tom from Texas

    Who cares. If you are still going to the Catholic Church then it is your problem not the rest of ours.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  14. Bailey

    I was raised in the Catholic Church, although I am not a practicing Catholic, I think that the Pope’s visit is the most important thing since the sex abuse scandal and the other religious crisis in America.
    Many people do not understand the significance of the Pope as a leader. The Catholic faith is the original faith, with much history and knowledge, regardless of what the many protestants in America think, if the Catholic Church fails they will not be far behind.

    Bailey
    North Carolina

    April 17, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  15. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    How far is far enough? No one can know for sure. I doubt if this type of behavior can ever be eradicated in a belief system that requires celibacy . It isn't natural, so it breeds deviancy.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  16. Michelle

    I still find it fascinating that this visit is being covered like it is. Obviously the religious world is just like the world of politics and general criminal justice. If you're the small obscure strange church in TX, all of your children can be taken away from you...even if not all of those children were abused. However, if you're the roman catholic church, you can cover up child abuse, move pedophile priests between parishes to hide them, and still be received as royalty. Can you imagine if the government had stormed into ANY catholic church service on a sunday morning and rounded up all the children in that church because they had received one phone call about a child being abused? The Pope talking to the victims does nothing to address the accountability and responsibility which should have been enacted already.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  17. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Pope Benedict has done nothing. As long as he refuses to acknowledge the causes of abuse,nothing will change.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  18. Lori in Battle Creek, MI

    I'm a former Catholic and I can't believe that it has taken so long to address this issue. In my mind there is no way that this trip has done much to heal the wounds. I remember when you got excommunicated if you got a divorce. When are they going to excommunicate every Priest that is charged with sexual abuse and why are Catholics still remaining in there churches. Why isn't that question brought up with the tabloid questions in the debates?

    April 17, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  19. Eloise

    If he really wants to apologize, he should have started in Boston.

    Eloise
    Brooklyn, NY

    April 17, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  20. Carol Colitti

    It would have gone a long way if Cardinal Law were not still living in luxury in exile in the Vatican, and was sitting in the front row last night! He should be in jail with the rest of the criminals.

    Carol Colitti
    Northampton, Massachusetts

    April 17, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  21. Wallace Matthews

    Healing is a process and the Pope has advanced this a long way. Some victims will never get enough healing but for most of us the issues has been addressed and it is time to move forward.

    Honolulu, Hawaii

    April 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  22. Mike E.

    I believe the Pope meeting with some of the victims was a very good move. It will go a long way to heal feelings. However, I also believe the wounds will not heal until someone is punished for the horrible crimes that were covered up for so long.
    I won't name names as to who should be punished, but we all know the names and so does the Pope.
    I pray he will do the right thing to start toward the true healing of this heinous crime.
    Respectfully,
    Mike Flannigan

    April 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  23. Julie

    Jack...

    At least the Pope has made an attempt to acknowlegde that THERE IS a problem. That's something. It's more than previous Popes (Popi??) have done!

    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  24. Stephen

    I think the Pope is doing everything humanily possible in this uncomfortable situation. For him coming to America on his birthday shows that he is truly dedicated to the faith, and honesty and trust for those connected directly and indirectly with this. May God keep him and protect him during his journey and the days after.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  25. billy

    I hope he do more than meet with the victims,some priest need to be banned from the church,to show a no tolerence policy.these people have broken their oaths,so kick them out GOD will judge them.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  26. IFEANYI AZUBIKE Houston, Texas

    Far enough. Jack, the Pope has gone to a level that clearly redifines him by portraying himself as humane and sensitive. By meeting those victims, he has elevated himself beyond the wildest imagination and shaken off any doubts that he, like Pope John Paul, deserve the title of the 'Peoples Pope'. He had the option of speaking about the scandal but doing nothing, but he chose to show a character that mimics the humility of Christ by striving to bring closure and comfort to the victims with his presence. I am not a Catholic and saw the scandal as a damning verdict on Roman Catholicism, but with this singular action, my faith in the Roman Catholic church as a pioneer in the work of evangelism and propagation of the Christian faith has been completely restored. As for the Pope, he has by his actions and pronouncements since this visit, placed himself on the same platform as Pope John Paul, by offering the framework for the victims to begin the healing process and a fresh perspective to a Church, with the scandal in their rear view mirror.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  27. Jill, Ann Arbor, MI

    I think the pope took a good first step, but he will have to go as far as their pain is deep.... and that's a long way.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  28. Jack Ledbetter

    The Pope was quoted as saying sex-abuse scandal was "sometimes very badly handled." If that's as far as he's going then nothing will change. He has the moral authority to throw the bums out of the priesthood and the Bishops who move them to another parish. Scandal has always been the thing to be avoided at all costs in the Catholic Church. It's long past time to forget that: the scandal is here and has been here and will be here until the Pope uses the authority he claims comes from Christ and handed down to all the Vicars of Christ. Use it or lose it!

    Jack, Thousand Oaks, CA.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  29. Mike from Illinois

    What a dumb question Jack!!! The question is how many decades and other popes will it take the Catholic church to fix the problems that their UNSPEAKABLE ACTIONS it has allowed and fostered over the past 50 years!! I was a catholic and never will step foot in a catholic church again in my life. I am sure there are many others with this opinion.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  30. Rian McMurtry

    From Davis, California

    Until the priests are turned over to secular authority and the Catholic church surrenders itself for its criminal activities in helping the priests avoid criminal liablity, he will not have begun to do enough.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  31. Sam

    By first talking openly and apologizing for the priests who abused children, and now meeting in a very personal and meaningful way with some of the victims, I believe this Pope has taken greater steps toward healing than other action the Catholic church has taken to date. You can't solve a problem unless you acknowlegde it, and Pope Benedict has shown compassion and a willingness to stop the problem that neither John Paul or the hierarchy of the Catholic church has demonstrated. Good for him.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  32. leonard sandell

    dealing with the catholic churches sex victims at this late date is a disgrace as far as im concerned ,we never will know how many other victims there are out there and the familys that will suffer generation afyter generation because the victims internalize what has happened to them and dont get the much needed help because the church chose to protect the sexuall abusing preists instead of the victims ,its too little too late ,,is it still happening? my bet is it is and thats the sad part,whetres god?lennysandell moundsview mn

    April 17, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  33. Gene

    Gene from Appleton, WI. I would think that the fact the Pope has now met with some of the abused he has definitely taken a major step forward in helping the church and the victims to start getting beyond the sexual abuse. I see this action as very profound and useful to all parties involved. Maybe with this the healing process can begin. I am surprised he made this move but am happy he did. I would be even more happy if the pope would make a move to overcome secular violence in the middle= east and try and achieve world peace. These are the type of actions that individuals in leadership positions need to make to shake-up the world and affect positive change for the better. Clearly after this the approriate thing is to ask for God to bless the pope as a man and in his actions as the pope. At least I can honestly say this has been a good day and offers hope for more in the future.. I wish our president could make dramatic moves of this type in helping to bring peace to the world.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  34. David

    Jack, the Pope has done much for the victims, but nothing for the problem itself. The priests involved probably only became priests to avoid ridicule from their families for being gay. The church needs to wise up and modernize itself.

    – David
    San Antonio, TX

    April 17, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  35. Mike Nunn

    If anyone is ignorant enough to believe that the pope is really concerned about the sex scandel they are very naive. This comes from a man who tried to keep the whole thing secret. Abuse has been going on in the church for years and now that is out front and center things have really changed. Nothing against them alone, the other religious organizations have the same problems. It seems that sex rears its ugly head everywhere from the White House to the Evangelical bastions of faith to the Catholic Church. Perhaps there is something to moral values outside of religion.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  36. Jim Fields

    I see a dark analogy between the bureaucracy of the Vatican and the Bush Administration.

    The Pope and the President are BOTH to late on the "issue" but, the Pope does it without fanfare and pomp.

    I vote for the POPE!

    April 17, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  37. Scannell Gill

    When the Pope allows those responsible for the cover-up of continued abuse (Cardinal Law,& so many bishops around the U.S.)
    to finally be prosecuted & incarcerated for their crimes.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  38. Jomal (Jacksonville, FL)

    If Pope Benedict XVI really wants to show the American public he is sincere about resolving priest abuse issues, he will demote the
    former Boston cardinal who protected all of those pedifilic priests to flunky alter boy status. This pope can never heal the wounds the catholic church has generated in this country until he can show that he recognizes the real source of continued policy abuses of bishops who refused to act when brazen abuse upon catholic children are rewarded rather than demoted.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  39. Abhisek Dwivedi

    It is great to see that Pope is a practical person, who wants to take the responsibility and ownership himself rather than depending on a council etc to take decisions. He is setting an example for others that its no harm in doing so and it is possible. It is going to have a long lasting effect.

    Abhishek.
    Amsterdam.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  40. stephanie/houston

    As a Catholic I am impressed by the fact that he openly addressed a widely publized scandal. He is the first Pope who acknowledged the shame, hurt ,and pain this has caused the Catholic Community. I developed a new found respect for him with this action and his willingness to meet with other religious leaders.Stephanie/Houston,Tx.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  41. Gary

    What Pope Benedict has done is absolutely remarkable. In meeting victims of clergy sexual abuse, he has demonstrated an amazing awareness of the scandal and his personal desire to begin to effect the true healing of the Church in the United States. There are voices who will never be satisfied with these actions but the time has come to acknowledge the incredible efforts the Church as a whole has taken to address the crisis and move forward. The only thing further that this Pope could do would be to retire Cardinal Law from his position in Rome as a means of signalling that even bishops are accountable for bad leadership and failure to understand the suffering of those intrusted to the care of the Church. Right on Holy Father!

    April 17, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  42. Amanda M - Chicago, IL

    I think this is a very important step for many of the abuse victims. But will it save the church as whole and help remove the stain the church now carries? I don't think that will ever happen. And it shouldn't. We should always remember what has happened so hopefully, it won't happen again.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  43. Martha Anderson

    I have just one question about the pope's visit with the victim's of abuse by priests: why did he move cardinal law to Rome and protect him from further questions?

    April 17, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  44. Amanda Lang

    If the Pope/Catholics were serious about healing the wounds of its young victims, it would turn over all priests of which it possesses knowledge of [potential pedophilia. The church protected and hid the prosecuted priest until forced legally do so. These were the priests whose victims identified them publically. The church knows of other offenders within its rank and file that have committed these acts against its own parishioners and it has not taken action to deliver these individuals to the justice system. Until that's done, there can be no healing.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  45. kathy

    All my kids are raising my grandchildren who were baptised as catholic in another religion that has ministers who are married and raising families. It's because they pray it's safer than the Catholic church's priests. I believe the Pope needs to allow Priests to marry like in the Eastern right to heal and make our catholic faith safer for our children.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  46. David Rumsey - Minneapolis MN

    Unfortunately, until the Pope makes a real effort to reform the church's celebacy requirements and allow priests to marry, the Catholic priesthood will continue to appear as a respectible sanctuary for individuals who may be struggling with their sexuality.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  47. Fish god Las Vegas,Nv.

    The Pope needs to get rid of the no sex rule Start allowing female priests .Allow marriage between priests and nuns. Make the Church more like the rest of the world People who are deprived of a normal sex life are more inclined to do something sneaky to relieve the urge.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  48. Sharon, Seattle

    As they say Jack....too little, too late.

    The offenders should have been prosecuted and removed from the church, not just shuffled to other cities or countries.

    Meeting with victims didn't change a thing in my books but I'm not a victim. Ask them.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  49. Brenda

    The Pope is in the same situation as Barak Oboma is in with Rev. Wright. But hats off to the Catholics. Millions of them stayed with the church even though they know that the Popes and Bishops knew chilldren were being molested.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  50. Ryan , New York

    I believe that His Holiness has made the first step in addressing the issue. I , as a Catholic, am deeply ashamed at what has occurred. The scandal casts a shadow over all the good things that the Church does on a regular basis. Benedict XVI has opened the door to healing and change and his visit marks a new day for the Catholic Church in America. It is a time of healing, rebirth and spiritual renewal. I pray for all those who were abused by the Church and hope that this initiative by the Pontiff will help ease the pain that exists in your heart, and the hearts of your families. God Bless

    April 17, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  51. Kathleen Brofman

    Obviously it's a drop in the bucket to victims, but what I like is he hasn't said "but". He has just apologized.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  52. Eric

    How about an apology to the millions of hard working honest catholics who gave their nichels, dimes and dollars for good what they felt was a good cause only to discover that they were merely funding the folly of a few. The visit is a little bit and very late...but it's a start toward healing. Now let us do that with New Orleans.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  53. Carole Miller, Bethesda, MD

    Jack, The Pope has done a great deal to face the abuse of children by priests in the U.S. He has valiantly faced it from the press corp plane ride to the major events here in Wash, DC. But I do not feel he or the Catholic Church has done anything significant to the leaders in the various regions where abuse was rampant; those Church leaders who under U.S. law would be considered "accomplices." For instance, I am appalled that Cardinal Law (Boston) was given a "promotion" to the vatican.... it appeared to many as a "reward" for covering up and moving around these predators, in order to cover up their crimes, rather than swift and prudent justice for their 'Sins" against American children - and let's not forget most of all, their "Sins against God."

    April 17, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  54. Michele Klaes

    Jack, good for His Holiness!!! Although I am not Catholic (I'm Episcopalian), I adored Pope John Paul II, but felt he should have been more public about the sexual abuse in the American Catholic Church. Pope Benedict, in only three days, has done more by word and his visible disgust and embarrassment about this horrible subject than any other high ranking Vatican official has ever done. I'm sure it was discussed and disciplinary actions were taken, but behind closed doors. Pope Benedict addressed the issue almost immediately as he stepped off his plane!!

    Michele
    Dallas, TX

    April 17, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  55. Dolores Thompson

    The Pope must openly discipline the Bishops who were involved in the cover up. Unless there is some serious accountability the abuse will continue.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  56. Elisabeth J from Bloomington, IN

    It is profound that the papal leader actually came out about the sex abuse scandals. It is so rare to see a real leader lead by accepting the mistakes/sins of those under their command (as well as one's own errors) and then apologizing for it. I feel such sadness for the victims of the Catholic priests. Nothing will bring back all the trust the kids lost, but the pope has given some a willingness to try.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  57. Daniel, South Florida

    In my opinion, not far enough, Jack!
    I'm Christian specifically an Episcopalian and served my church for over 16 years. They're many similarities between Catholics and Episcopalians but one thing I always felt comfortable talking about to ministers in my church was marriage and sexual relations. Mostly because the priests were married and had families of their own so I knew they could relate and understand what I was going through.

    I have NEVER wanted to talk to Catholic priests about such matters whenever I visited their churches because I always questioned how they could relate and talk about such matters as sex and marriage when in they themselves are supposed to be celibate?! It's time the church reform big time and let priests marry to prevent future abuses from occuring or suffer more of the same!

    April 17, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  58. Lawrence

    No. What organizational changes has the Pope directed in order to prevent future sexual abuse scandals? As any CEO knows, removing miscreants is a step in the right direction, but a whole new crop will spring up unless policies and procedures are implemented and enforced to prevent more abuses in the future. Also, the Pope has not made the Vatican's vast wealth available to help pay lawyers'f fees and damages to sexual abuse victims. Some dioceses in the U.S. do not have enough assets to pay damages are are filing bankruptcy. The Pope should not hide behind legal procedures and deny justice to victims.

    Lawrence
    Madison, Wisconsin

    April 17, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  59. Ralph at NYC

    Jack, the Pope has called against sex scandals and has visited victims of sex abuse by priests, but the only final solution to the problem depends on the priests in the many parishes throughout the country and the world.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  60. Thomas Collins

    The Catholic Church has actually learned a great deal from this painful tragedy and has acted in exemplary ways, even bank-rupting six dioceses and, in moving aggressively and pro-actively to prevent further problems, after at first mis-handling the situation, like so many institutions. What we need to remind ourselves is that the Catholic Church and its clergy certainly did not invent child sex abuse, and only a small fraction have even been accused. Rather, this is a pervasive problem in our society - witness the numbers of teachers and other school personnel incidents now coming to light, as well as those of other professions. The more we dwell on the Catholic Church the more we miss the real social disease.
    Tom Midland, MI

    April 17, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  61. Moses

    I believe Pope Bendict XVI, as the leader of our chuch, has began the healing process of the sex abuse scandal. This speaks leaps and bounds that he is personally getting in touch with some of the victims; listening to their stories, offering his prayers and sentiments. I believe the holy father is determined to make changes, but as with most things, it takes time. I would encourage the victims to stay strong and know that the actions done to them by "Bad' priests are not the stewards of the Catholic faith.

    Vivat Jesus!

    April 17, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  62. J from Tillamook, OR

    Despite what may be the popes good intentions, time and good wishes do not cure all things. The wounds may slowly heal, but the scars will ultimately last a lifetime.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  63. A. Allyn

    There is nothing that the Pope or the Church can do to ever heal the damage to victims of sexual abuse by priests. I know. I myself am a victim. I was systematically abused over a period of 9 months, multiple times per week. The abuse was covered up by various people in the Church hierarchy. I was asked point blank by the priests' supervisor if I was being sexually abused. I told him the entire story. It was never mentioned again. The bishop was even notified by my mother, and he sent a representative to "discuss" it with my mother (in essence, to determine if she was going to sue). Nothing was ever done. It was never reported. It was never stopped. The abuse continued, even after multiple people in the chuch - including the bishop - knew. The church even planned to transfer him to an all boys school AFTER they knew about the abuse. The abuse has affected EVERY single area of my life. There is no amount of acknowledgment, apologizing, or money that the Pope could ever put forth that could undo the damage fo the abuse and betrayal.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  64. Lorraine Vandecoevering

    Pope Benedict made a small step in the right direction.
    Let's hear about the church's attitude toward women;
    refusing birth control to impoverished and/or isolated women, giving a fetus priviledges of life and death over a dying mother.
    Refusing early abortion to a women
    then after the woman and child have time to bond
    then use her offspring for infantry.
    Lorraine

    April 17, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  65. Judy Trout

    Too late....damage has already been done. Why did he wait so long to speak out against this atrocity? Why is he speaking out now? I'll tell you why he's speaking out now because the churches have lost and continue to lose money over this issue. I for one am willing to support my local church but not the Archdiocese or the Vatican. Go to any Catholic Church this Sunday and you will find either at the beginning of the homily, during the homily or at the end of the homily a request for money. Sorry, in remembering those that were molested over and over again - no can do.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  66. Nancy, Tennessee

    Jack, those wounds will never go away. There are here for eternity much like the Crusades.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  67. Joan Normandin

    Jack – I could not find where to send an e-mail to Wolf or Lou so I am sending it to you. I am not a catholic. I am a Christian. I really appreciate CNN's coverage of the Pope's visit to the U. S. How refreshing to view a beautiful and enlightening event instead of so much "gloom and doom".
    Thank you, Jack, for giving the good report about the Pope's private meeting with the victims of sex abuse. You know, old boy, sometimes you come across as kind of tough, but your "soft" side came through as you made this report. It was obvious that you felt it was important for us to know this about the Pope. You presented it well.
    I wish Lou Dobbs had not made his comments about the Pope. I don't think they will be received very well.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  68. Alex Day

    I'm glad he said something about this, but at the same time i fear this wasn't enough. If he wants to get around to the American people and to properly address the issues, then he's going to have to give more information and more details concerning the view of the church. Saying what we want to hear is not enough, apologize or not at all.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  69. Alan, Buxton, Maine

    Someone recently pointed out that if the pope were CEO of an international day care organization whose officers were sexually abusing the children, the organization would be shut down and he would be in jail. Since he can hide behind religion and give the worst offenders cushy jobs in the Vatican, there is no accountability at all. His lame attempt to apologize in no way addresses the magnitude of the offenses. He should be ashamed of himself and his religion.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  70. Mike S., New Orleans

    You cannot heal those kind of wounds. You can only accept the damage done and move on as best you can. No Pope or Cardinal can ever erase decades of victims of organized and secretized pedophilia.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm |
  71. Richard Turk, Jr Southern California

    He's gone as far as he can go save promising to personally assist any investigator prosecuting child predators regardless of who or what they are within his faith. The truth remains however, we are each responsible for our own actions. Just as the parents are guilty for allowing their children to visit Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch so are any parents guilty when they allow custody of their children to transfer to a known possible danger.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:52 pm |
  72. Alfie --- Palmdale, Cal.

    I must say I was in sheer awe at his visit. His calm demeanor, and moving words made the day worthwile.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:53 pm |
  73. Adlai (Florida)

    I've been saved from death twice, there is a such thing as God, but also the Devil, I know for sure, so you all just need to decide, passed all the hardships of life, which one you'd rather be with. The Church gets more attacks from the devil than anything else or maybe equally, so you should help and pray for the world

    April 17, 2008 at 6:58 pm |