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Pope's Willingness To Meet Encourages Mass. Abuse Survivors

In a statement to Vatican Radio, a papal spokesman said Pope Benedict XVI is willing to meet with more clergy abuse survivors — a step that pleases a number of Massachusetts clergy abuse victims.

The spokesman, as part of the Vatican's effort to address increasing abuse allegations around the world, said many survivors are not looking for money, but for moral help.

Olan Horne, a clergy abuse survivor from Westfield, met with Pope Benedict two years ago and says the new announcement is encouraging.

"It's the absolute, boiled-down most essential move he could have made," Horne said. "Nobody can deny that this is at the level that it's at."

Horne also says the Vatican should take further steps to include victims in directly addressing abuse issues.

"A greater opportunity exists in immediately appointing a survivor board to work in tandem at the Vatican level," he said. "This relationship to the survivor community should be permanent."

This program aired on April 9, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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