"You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry," Benedict said, addressing himself to the generations of Irish Catholics who suffered "sinful and criminal" abuse at the hands of priests, brothers and nuns.
"It is understandable that you find it hard to forgive or be reconciled with the church," he said. "In her name, I openly express the shame and remorse that we all feel."
Not only Ireland, but his own Germany has joined America in outing the sexual predators in clerical garb.
Teachers, rabbis, ministers, community activists, camp leaders find wolves among them seeking to target the children or the needy and the afflicted to victimize and sodomize.
I was taught by hundreds of priests and brothers and never once encountered any sexual abuse or even an uncomfortable situation - I was blessed.
In my first years as a teacher and coach, I learned that one of my students was being abused by a priest. Me and my colleagues brought it to the attention of our Principal - Father Kenneth Yarno, CSV. This man had more balls than a bowling alley!
Father Ken Yarno, had been a football star at St. Pat's Central and returned to direct his alma mater as Bishop Martin D. McNamara High School in Kankakee, Illinois.
When a bunch of us brought the news of the young guy being abused by a priest in Father Yarno's very own Order - the good man reacted like any decent human being -Ken Yarno was mightily pissed off! Father Yarno is a working man and was in top physical shape with forearms like Popeye and neck on him like a Mike Lucci. He told me and the guys ( Jerry Krieg, Jim Frogge, Rich Zinanni, Dave Raiche, Charley Olson) that he'd take care of it. This was in the late 1970's. The priest, Father Burke, was lauded in the media as 'a protector of way-ward boys.'
In blink of an eye, the iconic Father John Burke, C.S.V. was arrested at his rectory in the French town of St. George ( Kankakee County) and the press had been called for the perp walk. God Bless Father Yarno! Father Burke went to jail and Father Yarno was re-assigned.
I like Pope Benedict XVI! This guy is the real deal. No parsing; no mincing - Pope Benedict gets right to the nub of the horrors of clergy abuse.
The Church will be fine with this good man's hand griping the necks of sneaks and the creeps in stiff collars.
Pope Benedict, like Chicago's Cardinal George, is a Great Shepherd. Father Ken Yarno is Great Man!