Thursday, September 22, 2005

Cardinals Implicated in Sex Abuse Cover-up

Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has criticized the grand jury report that condemned his predecessors. This portrait of Rigali was taken during his tenure as Archbishop of St. Louis.

By Lisa Haddock
NJ Faith Forum Editor

A Philadelphia grand jury has accused Cardinals John Krol and Anthony Bevilacqua of knowingly covering up sexual abuse committed by 63 priests from 1967 to 2002, the Washington Post reported Thursday (Sept. 22). The abuse allegations involve hundreds of children.

Krol and Bevilacqua both served stints as heads of the archdiocese. Krol, who died in 1996, served from 1961 to 1988. Bevilacqua, who retired two years ago, served from 1988 to 2003. Bevilacqua retains the title of “archbishop emeritus.”

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the report stated: "In its callous, calculating manner, the archdiocese's 'handling' of the abuse scandal was at least as immoral as the abuse itself."

Among the most heinous cases reported, a priest repeatedly raped an 11-year-old girl and then took her for an abortion after she became pregnant.

In a 2002 Dallas meeting, the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops established a policy requiring that any priest suspected of sexual abuse be removed from ministry. The policy mandates that the accusations be credible.

The Philadelphia Archdiocese allowed 10 accused abusers to continue in ministry even after the 2002 meeting. Two currently remain in active service, the Post reported.

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  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Regardless of what age we are in, abusing children has been and always was immoral and gravely sinful. I thank God for the laity who have held our leaders (shepherds) accountable. Nothing would have changed if people didn't step forward.