April 18, 2008
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR

   

CATHOLIC CHURCH SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS
WHO MET WITH POPE BENEDICT XVI
AT PRIVATE MEETING TODAY
SPEAK TO NPR AFTER THE GATHERING
ON UPDATED EDITIONS OF NPR NEWS ALL THINGS CONSIDERED
TODAY, THURSDAY, APRIL 17



April 17, 2008; Washington, D.C. - Following its earlier report that Pope Benedict XVI met privately with victims of sexual abuse by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy, NPR News has conducted interviews with the meeting attendees.

The meeting between Pope Benedict and a small group from the Boston area was held this afternoon in Washington, D.C., following a mass officiated by the Pope at National's Stadium.

In a post-meeting interview with NPR News correspondent Tovia Smith, attendee Olan Horne said the meeting provided "...A sense of fulfillment. For eight years, I've been asking to hear the words from the top, and from no one else. And we heard them today. And we heard them face to face, without a filter, without a proxy. It wasn't symbolic. It was from him to me."

Bernie McDaid, who also attended today's meeting, tells NPR's Smith that he told Pope Benedict: "Holy Father, I want you to know you have a cancer in your flock. And you need to correct that, and I hope you do. You need to do more." Both McDaid and Horne received invitations to the meeting from the Vatican through the Boston Archdiocese.

The full report is airing today on All Things Considered and www.NPR.org , and has been updated to reflect new interviews. All excerpts must be credited to NPR News All Things Considered. Television usage must include on-screen NPR News credit with NPR logo.

All Things Considered, NPR's signature afternoon news magazine, reaches 11.5 million listeners weekly, and is hosted by Melissa Block, Michele Norris and Robert Siegel. To find local stations and broadcast times, visit www.NPR.org/stations