December 27, 2010.
In February, the
Pope travelled to Rome's main train station
to visit a homeless center managed by the local Catholic charity
Caritas. Benedict XVI took a tour of the facilities and listened to several testimonies. He was visibly moved when this woman told him how she escaped poverty.
“When I was
forced to resort to charity, I was desperate, but now I am a new
Now she is turning the
help she received when she was in need, into a job here as a
loves us deeply, and does not abandon us”.
Also in February, the Pope
summoned all the Irish bishops to Rome in order to address the sexual
abuse scandal involving priests and accusations of a cover up by some
Irish bishops and civil authorities.
The meeting examined cases
detailed in two independent reports, published in 2009. The Ryan
report documented physical and psychiatric abuse committed in
educational religious and public institutions between 1914 and 2000.
Some 23 religious were accused, as well as three women.
The second report,
entitled the Murphy report documented abuses comitted by priests in
the Diocese of Dublin, between 1975 and 2004. Some 46 priests were
accused in the abuse of 320 minors.
The Pope encouraged them
to face the situation with honesty and courage, so that such
atrocities are never repeated. The bishops promised that they would
collaborate with public authorities to prevent future cases of abuse.
The month closed
with a rare, out-of-the-ordinary image that
hasn't been seen in the last 24 years. Snow fell on St. Peter's
Square, covering the area in a soft, white blanket.
Even the Pope, who
was working in his office, stuck his head out of his window, to catch
a glimpse of such a unique, beautiful