Rod Dreher once again sums it up nicely:
I had to sit back and read this three times for its full impact to sink in, and to deal with the emotions it brings forth. From the Boston Globe:
“I asked him to forgive me for hating his church and hating him,” said Olan Horne, 48, of Lowell, who gave the pope a picture of himself as a 9-year-old boy, just before the Rev. Joseph E. Birmingham started molesting him. “He said, ‘My English isn’t good, but I want you to know that I can understand you, and I think I can understand your sorrow.’ “
This is what so many have been waiting for, for so long. Not even John Paul, for all his courage and charity, could bring himself to do this.