"Pope Benedict XVI prayed with tearful victims of clergy sex abuse in a chapel Thursday, an extraordinary gesture from a pontiff who has made atoning for the great shame of the U.S. church the cornerstone of his first papal trip to America.
. . .
"The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a papal spokesman, said that Benedict and Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley met with a group of five or six clergy sex abuse victims for about 25 minutes, offering them encouragement and hope. The group from O'Malley's archdiocese were all adults, men and women, who had been molested when they were minors. Each spoke privately with the pope.
"'They prayed together. Also, each of them had their own individual time with the Holy Father,' Lombardi said. 'Some were in tears.'"