Political leaders see force in Francis' words

After the Mass, Councilwoman Maria Quinonez-Sanchez stood talking with a leader of the Hispanic police organization as a group of young New York sisters harmonized sweetly ("Ubi Caritas") waiting for Francis to drive past.

"He went right to it about abuse this morning,"' the councilwoman said. "He was all about accountability. He used very strong words in Spanish. The translators do not quite do him justice. He said 'avergonzado,' wholly embarrassed, ashamed. He said 'Dios llora,' God cries, he is still crying. He said, 'You can't deal with this in private, people have to be held publicly accountable.' "

"And he thanked the victims for coming forward. I just wished he'd continued and said something to our bishop about closing all those schools," she said.

John Dougherty, leader of the politically powerful Electricians' Union, also had Francis' words ringing in his head:

"You heard his line in today's homily: 'Our common house can no longer tolerate sterile divisions.' It is a  singnificant  statement. That no one has a monopoly on love or religion, and this pope is going make more Christians believe."