Praying with students, Vatican official says abusers face special hell
Published: June 1, 2010
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Praying with a group of students preparing for ministry in the church, the Vatican's chief prosecutor of clerical sex abuse cases said there is a special place in hell for priests who abuse children. Msgr. Charles Scicluna, an official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, offered a long meditation May 29 during a prayer service organized by the students to pray for Pope Benedict XVI, for the victims of clerical sex abuse and for the conversion of the abusers. Mary M. Nolan, a 25-year-old philosophy student at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome, said the scandal "makes me grieve, which is natural. But I have hope that God has a plan and he needs us to open ourselves to him in prayer. That's what this is about." Nolan, who is from South Bend, Ind., and several other lay students and seminarians from the United States, England and Ireland organized the service on their own. The fact that Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, and Msgr. Scicluna signed on to be part of the service "was just chance," she said. "For us, it was important that this be a grass-roots thing," she said. More than 200 people -- including dozens of seminarians, a few Vatican officials and staff members of the English, Irish and U.S. seminaries in Rome -- gathered at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's Basilica for one hour of silent eucharistic adoration and for the prayer service.
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