Monday, April 14, 2008

As pope visits, Boston gets snubbed and for many victims of clergy abuse, the scars are now burning

Go to Boston Globe originalWhen Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass on Boston Common on Oct. 1, 1979, Robert Costello was there. He was 18, president of the Catholic Youth Organization at St. Theresa of Avila parish in West Roxbury, and a freshman at Boston College. Praying in the rain with 400,000 believers, he watched as his friend, who was dying of cancer, took Communion from the pope's hand.

Now, almost 29 years later, Costello is anticipating another pope's visit. Only this time, he is going to protest, not pray. A victim of sexual abuse by a priest who was supposed to teach his Boy Scout troop to swim, Costello will travel from Boston to New York City Friday to read aloud the names of fellow victims, while Benedict XVI addresses the United Nations.

"I don't owe him the courtesy of kissing his ring, because they certainly didn't do me the courtesy of stopping this abuse when it happened," said Costello, a 46-year-old Norwood resident who, in 1989, came to terms with the abuse he said he suffered between the ages of 10 and 14.


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