Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley Joins Pope in Australia

Boston Herald

July 21, 2008

SYDNEY, Australia - Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of the Boston archdiocese traveled with several hundred young parishioners to Australia and yesterday stood alongside Pope Benedict XVI, who reportedly met with victims of clergy child sex abuse in the country.

Reaching out: Boston’s Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, bottom row left, appears with Pope Benedict XVI, center top, in Australia yesterday.

The pontiff held a Mass yesterday with two men and two women who represented the victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests as a gesture of consolation and his concern about the issue, the Vatican said in a statement.

It was unclear whether O’Malley had a role in the Mass. Archdiocesan spokesman Terrence C. Donilan said he had not been briefed on O’Malley’s itinerary.

Benedict is scheduled to leave Australia today. He had been attending the church’s youth festival.

The pope on Saturday made a forthright public apology to victims of the abuse that has rocked the church in recent years. Pope Benedict XVI ended his farthest pilgrimage yesterday, one intended to inspire a new generation of faithful while trying to overcome a dark chapter for his church caused by the sex abuse scandal.

Summing up his message, Benedict told young pilgrims at a Mass in Sydney that a “spiritual desert” was spreading throughout the world, and he challenged them to shed the greed and cynicism of their time to create a new age of hope.


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