Last night was like the quiet before the storm, as the D.C. media centre was strangely silent apart from us and the delightful Timothy Drake, author of the National Catholic Register's Pope2008.com blog. The centre is filling up this morning as more than 5000 reporters have sought accreditation. Until the events begin, CNN Headline News' tedious cycle is projected on a massive screen.
Meanwhile, the Pope isn't waiting to land before he addresses the most sensitive issue. S+L's Fr. Thomas Rosica predicted on CTV's Canada AM this morning that he would address the clergy sex abuse tragedy. Still, no one predicted that the pontiff would do so before his plane even landed. As reported by Reuters
, the Holy Father told journalists onboard:
"We will absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry ... We are deeply ashamed and will do whatever is possible so that this does not happen in the future ... If I read the histories of these victims, it's difficult for me to understand how it was possible that priests betrayed in this way their mission to give healing, to give the love of God to these children."