Yesterday evening after returning from Vespers in Etzelsbach, the Holy Father met with German victims of clerical abuse, two women and three men, in the seminary in Erfurt. The meeting lasted for half an hour, during which the Pope expressed “deep compassion and regret” at the suffering of those abused by members of the clergy.
The full English text of the statement released by the Holy See Press Office:
This evening, in the seminary at Erfurt, Pope Benedict XVI met with a group of victims of sexual abuse committed by priests and church personnel. Subsequently he greeted some people who care for those injured by these crimes.
Moved and deeply shaken by the sufferings of the victims, the Holy Father expressed his deep compassion and regret over all that was done to them and their families. He assured the people present that those in positions of responsibility in the Church are seriously concerned to deal with all crimes of abuse and are committed to the promotion of effective measures for the protection of children and young people. Pope Benedict XVI is close to the victims and he expresses the hope that the merciful God, Creator and Redeemer of all mankind, may heal the wounds of the victims and grant them inner peace.