23-April-2008 -- Catholic News Agency |

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Vatican Spokesman: Pope Helped Close “Chapter of Shame and Sorrow” in U.S.

Vatican City, Apr 23, 2008 (CNA).- In statements broadcast by Vatican Radio, the director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, said that with his recent visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI has helped the Church in that country to close a chapter of shame and sorrow over the sex abuse scandal.

“The Pope has helped the American Church to close a chapter of shame and sorrow over the faults and grave responsibilities of the past,” Father Lombardi said, and that he did so “without escaping from the difficulties, with loyalty, honesty and clarity of conscience.”

According to Vatican Radio, despite having been in only two cities—New York and Washington DC—the Pope “had a packed schedule that allowed him to reiterate on American soil some essential themes of his pontificate. The central point of his trip was the speech on human rights at the UN. The most emotional moment was his visit to Ground Zero.”

“The Pope also praised the American secular model, which instead of excluding, encourages the presence of faith in public discourse. This presence allows democracy to remain healthy and vital, without losing ‘it’s values’,” Vatican Radio reported.

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