(HT: Rocco Palmo)
"Victims of Abuse Recall Meeting with Pope"
Horne surprised himself at what he said to the pope after years of calling for meetings between popes and survivors.
Since he became an adult, he has rarely gone to Mass. A couple of hours before the visit, Horne went with his college-age daughter to the Papal Mass at Nationals Stadium.
"At that Mass, I realized that I hadn't given my daughter faith, but I could give my daughter something," he said. "I could show her never to give up. There was the head of the whole Catholic Church. And in an hour he was prepared to meet with me and other survivors. I had never given up hope that things might change. Given up faith sometimes, but never given up hope."
Ten minutes before the pope arrived, Horne asked a priest to hear his sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, popularly called confession. Catholics believe that in this sacrament Jesus directly provides the grace of healing and forgiveness.
When Horne faced the pope, he found himself telling the pope about his spontaneous preparation.
"I told him that I had not gone to confession in 35 years, but I went 10 minutes before I met him to ask forgiveness because I had hated him for years, I hated the church, I hated my God. I told him I wanted forgiveness so that I could be in the same place that he was when I met him. So I could have an open heart."
Pain fractured the pope's face like a man standing before a jury, Horne said but as he finished Benedict smiled and grabbed Horne's hand.
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