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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Olan Horne, 48, a survivor of clerical sex abuse, believes that Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States marks a turning point in the way victims of sexual abuse are treated in the Catholic Church.
"I saw it in his face, heard his voice. He understands," said Horne, one of six survivors who met Thursday with the pope. He spoke with the St. Louis Beacon from his Massachusetts university food service office.
Benedict himself brought the shameful issue up last week at three masses at Washington Nationals and Yankee stadiums and at St. Patrick's Cathedral, at a New York seminary campus and at a press conference aboard his plane Shepherd One. He also discussed the issue with the bishops in Washington.
"Benedict told the bishops to meet with survivors as he had; this pope gets it," said Horne. "I like to say that I'm from Missouri and you are going to have to Show Me. Benedict showed me."
Horne has no connection with Missouri, but for years he has embraced the state motto as his own. Horne repeatedly has demanded that the Catholic Church "show me" how it has taken the issue of sex abuse of minors seriously in a public way.
"I never gave up, I always had hope. I didn't have much faith, but I always had hope," said Horne who has not attended Mass in years and baptized his children but never took them to church or allowed them to make their First Communion.
Bernie McDaid, 52, another Boston survivor who is a painting contractor in Boston, tried to tell his story to Pope John Paul II in 2003. He traveled to Rome but saw only Vatican officials, he told the Beacon from a Boston construction site. This time was different.
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