FACTBOX-Quotes from U.S. sexual abuse victims who met pope
(Reuters) - Three victims of sexual abuse by priests who met Pope Benedict in Washington on Thursday praised him for holding the surprise encounter and for speaking frankly about the scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church.
Following are excerpts from their interview with CNN:
Bernie McDaid: "I told him that he has a cancer growing in his ministry, and needs to do something about it. And I hope he hears me right. And I touched his heart. And he nodded.
"I don't go to Mass, but today I went with my mother. And his sermon there and his apology about the sexual abuse blew me away. And I had tears in my eyes that I wasn't ready to have. It was an incredible moment for me. We're at the beginning of a new start, and there's real hope this time. It's not just words. I think there's going to be action following this moment now."
Olan Horne: "It was unscripted. It was free-flowing. There was no filter to it whatsoever ... we were all able to answer all of the questions that needed to be asked and for him to respond to. And he did. And he did forthright.
"It was absolutely emotional ... he responded accordingly to that. And I found that refreshing.
"He seemed to intrinsically understand what we were talking about. And he spoke to those issues to each one of us in a spiritual way, in a pastoral way. And he also was very respectful of where and what we wanted to talk about.
"My hope was restored today from what I heard. And I believe we received a promise.
"We were there longer than we expected to be. And there was frank talk. And we believe that in itself is a great beginning."
Faith Johnston: "I didn't end up saying anything. I got up to him, and I burst into tears ... I think just my tears alone spoke -- just spoke so much."
(For more on religion, see the Reuters religion blog FaithWorld at blogs.reuters.com/faithworld)
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