April 06, 2005

Saying goodbye to John Paul II

Cincinnati Post

Post staff report

With its large concentration of Catholics, Greater Cincinnati may feel the impact of Pope John Paul II's death more acutely than many other places.

According to the Cincinnati-based Glenmary Home Missioners organization, more than 500,000 Catholics - more than one in every six persons - live in 19 counties of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The Diocese of Covington has another 89,000 Catholics.Thousands of them are expected to turn out at memorial Masses this week for the pontiff, who died Saturday night in his quarters at the Vatican.

"I think he was good for the church locally and throughout the world," said Villa Hills resident Martin Tepe, who attended Sunday night's memorial service at St. Agnes Church in Fort Wright. "Overall, I think he helped the church here." ...

David Clohessy, national director of the Louisville-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - SNAP - said the pope could have had a more positive impact on the situation, but didn't act soon enough or strongly enough.

"His public pronouncements were strong but belated and sadly, lacked real follow-through on the part of the bishops," he said.

Clohessy said that in particular, the pope could've reached out to victims and encouraged them to come forward.

"A deeply rooted, longstanding culture of secrecy isn't transformed by a couple of public comments," he said.

Posted by kshaw at April 6, 2005 10:54 AM