As Pope Resigns, Clergy Abuse Survivors Remember 2008 Meeting


Filed by KOSU News
February 27, 2013

Among those watching the papal transition closely are survivors of clergy sexual abuse, including a handful who were selected to meet with Pope Benedict XVI five years ago as the crisis raged.

The group left the meeting hopeful that that Benedict would make significant changes in how the church handled both past and current cases. Among those at the meeting were Olan Horne and Bernie McDaid.

It would be hard to blame Horne or McDaid for being cynical, having survived repeated sexual abuse by their priest only to find out that it had also happened to thousands of others and was covered up by the church. It’s little wonder they reacted as they did when they heard the pope was resigning.

“My mind just immediately went to that there was a scandal or something behind it,” says Horne.

Since then Horne has read the stories swirling around and heard the news that Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behavior with priests. Secrets have a way of coming out, Horne says, not that it brings him any satisfaction.

“My intent never was to inflict shame and damage. I’ve come from shame and damage. I want to work the problem. I don’t want to work the Catholic Church,” says Horne.

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