The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has placed 21 priests on administrative leave who have been accused of inappropriate relationships with children in response to a grand jury report released February 10th “that found that 37 priests, accused or suspected of misbehavior with children, were serving in ministry,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The archdiocese even hired a former sex crimes prosecutor to rid the Church of the priests named in the grand jury’s report as a way of cleaning up its image. It’s unclear, then, why only 21 of 37 accused or suspected priests have been removed from service.
The Inquirer says, “On the day the grand jury report was released, Cardinal Justin Rigali issued a brief response saying that ‘there are no archdiocesan priests in ministry today who have an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them.’ ” Clearly, that statement was not true. Rigali said in a statement today, “I know that for many people their trust in the Church has been shaken. I pray that the efforts of the Archdiocese to address these cases of concern and to re-evaluate our way of handling allegations will help rebuild that trust in truth and justice.”
Yeah, totally. I always trust someone immediately after they’ve just been proven not only to have ignored abuses but then to have lied about them. This is why I am – like so many of the people I was raised with – totally disinterested in anything the Catholic Church has to say. In a way, that’s a shame, but men like Rigali have only reinforced my opinion of the Church, despite their “best efforts.” The abuses of priests and the way they have been ignored by the Church for decades now – that’s most certainly shameful.