During Pope Francis’s three-day whirlwind visit to the U.S., the holy man shook hands with the prominent and the downtrodden, kissed babies, and spoke movingly about love, forgiveness and charity. He also met personally with hundreds of victims of sexual abuse—that is, he offered personal comfort and solace to a large group of Catholic bishops, adding a single phrase to his prescripted remarks: “God weeps.” Because, you know, he gets it : This whole child sex abuse stuff was pretty hard on (get it, hard-on?) the clergy.
A sea of lizardy, white male faces and amethyst zucchettos gathered at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., listening intently, some with forefingers pressed against noses and lips (remembering the distant smell of a child’s underwear perhaps?) as Pope Francis solemnly announced, “I realize how much the pain of recent years has weighed upon you, and I have supported your generous commitment to bring healing to victims.”