Gelzinis: O’Malley still basking in afterglow of papal visit

Boston Herald

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

By: Peter Gelzinis

Cardinal Sean O’Malley looked none the worse for wear at Logan International Airport yesterday after spending the last 10 days following Pope Francis from Cuba to Washington, D.C., then on to New York and Philadelphia before accompanying the pontiff back to Rome.

On the contrary, O’Malley looked invigorated. For almost two weeks, he’d been at the side of a man who stopped this country in its tracks with his humility, grace and insight.

“Pope Francis calls us to be better versions of ourselves,” O’Malley said. He said Francis left us with an image of the church “not as a museum, or a concert hall, but rather as a field hospital … a living, vibrant institution that embodies the spirit of mercy.”

It’s no wonder O’Malley, who sold off the granite palace on Lake Street and opted to reside in a small apartment in the South End, would find a kindred spirit in Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who rode the subway in his native Buenos Aires, and promptly gave up the red shoes and lavish Vatican Suite when he became pope.

O’Malley said Americans instinctively reacted to the essential goodness of a man whose presence “seemed to cut through the noise and speak to a sense of community and dialogue.”

Though the pope’s meeting with victims of sex abuse on Sunday was an effort to cut through that noise, there still came a question about Cardinal Bernard Law and what, if anything the pope might do. After noting the pope had removed three bishops recently, O’Malley suggested Law’s exile from Boston was in itself a step toward healing.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.