He said he had originally hoped to arrange the encounter in Jerusalem itself, but that the idea was scrapped because of the enormous logistical problems that would have been involved.
One of the more poignant moments of Francis' pilgrimage came Monday when he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem and kissed the hands of survivors in a show of humility and respect. Given his respect for Holocaust survivors, Francis was asked what he intended to do about the pending beatification case for Pope Pius XII, the World War II-era pope accused by some Jews of not speaking out enough against the Holocaust.
But a US lawyer who represents clergy abuse victims hoped the meeting would be “substantive and meaningful” rather than for cosmetic purposes.
Mitchell Garabedian said “meeting directly with victims is the most powerful tool that the pope can use in understanding the ugliness and horror of clergy sexual abuse and why it must be stopped or prevented”.
Benedict told the eight victims that the Catholic Church would implement “effective measures” to protect young people in the future, but gave no further details.