Letters: Covering the Pope Listeners weigh in on coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States, his conversation with victims of clergy sex abuse and his bright red shoes.
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Letters: Covering the Pope

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Letters: Covering the Pope

Letters: Covering the Pope

Letters: Covering the Pope

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Listeners weigh in on coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States, his conversation with victims of clergy sex abuse and his bright red shoes.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Now for some of your e-mail about yesterday's program.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

We got several comments in response to our coverage of Pope Benedict's visit to the U.S. After the pope celebrated mass in Washington D.C., he held a private meeting with people who were sexually abused by Catholic clergy.

NPR's Tovia Smith was one of the first reporters to talk with the victims and she tells us what they had to say.

TOVIA SMITH: For some survivors, the biggest thing with this meeting really is about being heard. After so many years of the church turning a deaf ear, to be sitting face-to-face with the pope, and getting to tell him about their suffering, they're hoping to make the church kind of get it in a way that people say the church hasn't got it before.

I found the suggestion that the Roman Catholic Church has turned a deaf ear to survivors to be very opinionated. This is from Gene Sweeney(ph) of Houston, Texas. He continues, Catholics know that sexual abuse is wrong. The church did not commit those acts, individuals did. The acts of men committing sin are their own fault.

NORRIS: Well, as for our coverage of the pope's trip, Steve Jackson(ph)of Long Beach, California, has heard enough. I must have missed the news that the Roman Catholic Church had purchased NPR, Jackson writes. When I got in my car to drive home tonight. The first 20 minutes of the hour was devoted to nothing but papal stories. How much other news got crowded out during the binge?

SIEGEL: Well, finally, our so called binge included some reflections on the fact that Pope Benedict wears bright ruby red shoes.

NORRIS: That got Lynn Murray(ph)of Glendale, Ohio, to ponder this question - Does the pope click them together and say, there's no place like Rome?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: Well, we're wondering what's on your mind. Please write to us at npr.org/contact. And don't forget to tell us where you live and how you pronounce your name.

NORRIS: This is NPR, National Public Radio.

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