Friday, September 23, 2005

Cardinal’s Remarks Upset Catholic Reformers

Cardinal Justin Rigali's coat of arms. The Latin motto means "the Word was made flesh," a phrase from the Gospel of St. John.

By Lisa Haddock
NJ Faith Forum Editor

When a grand jury report blasted the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s response to sexually abusive priests, Cardinal Justin Rigali and other church officials deflected some of the criticism.

That reaction has saddened Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), a lay group formed in response to the sex abuse crisis.

A grand jury report accused Cardinals Anthony Bevilacqua and John Krol of deliberately covering up sexual abuse committed by priests. Although he apologized for the harm done to the victims, Rigali said the report unfairly criticized his predecessors. An official archdiocesan response also tried to punch holes in the grand jury’s findings.

“It’s time for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and for dioceses across the country to stop ‘shooting the messenger’ and to get their house in order,” VOTF President Jim Post said in a statement posted Sept. 21 on the group’s Web site. “Catholics cannot have accountability in our Church without the commitment of its leaders.”

The group, which formed three years ago in Newton, Mass., is urging all lay Catholics to demand accountability from their leaders.

To read the entire VOTF statement, click below:
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