45,000 Hear Pope Tackle Paedophile Priests Scandal; Sport and Religion: A Crowd of 45,000 Gathers in Nationals Park Stadium in Washington DC to Hear Pope Benedict XVI Reconciliation: Pope Benedict XVI Addresses the People
POPE Benedict XVI, celebrating a stadium Mass for 45,000 people,admitted yesterday that the U.S. pae-dophile priests scandal causedindescribable pain and harm to victims.
But he called on Catholics to love their priests.
For the third consecutive day of his U.S. trip, the Pontiff mentioned thescandal that rocked the Church in 2002 and cost U.S. dioceses $2billion indamages, demonstrating his resolve to deal with the issue and make sure it doesnot happen again.
In the sermon of a Mass at Nationals Park in Washington DC, Mail ForeignService the Pope said: No words of mine can describe the pain and harminflicted by such abuse.
Advertisements flanking the scoreboard were covered by U.S flags, as the Popesaid Mass from an altar platform in centre field.
A large yellow and white Papal flag fluttered in left field and a Papal sealcovered home plate.
Pope Benedict arrived in Washington on Tuesday on his first visit to the U.S.as Pontiff.
He said during the Mass yesterday: It is important that those who have sufferedbe given loving pastoral attention. Nor can I adequately describe the damagethat has occurred within the community of the Church.
But he said great efforts had been made to deal honestly and fairly with theaftermath of the scandal, which broke when it was discovered that priests whohad abused children were transferred instead of being defrocked or turned overto police. …