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Renewed criticism of Cardinal Rigali over suspension of priests

Catholic World News - April 26, 2011

Peter Kleponis, a psychologist who has treated victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse, has renewed his criticism of Cardinal Justin Rigali for suspending 21 priests in the wake of a grand jury report that claimed priests credibly accused of sexual abuse had remained in ministry.

“The recent events in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have raised more questions than provided answers,” says Kleponis. “The 21 priests who were placed on administrative leave were thoroughly investigated and cleared of all charges. What’s sad is that instead of standing up for these priests and defending them, Cardinal Rigali simply handed them over to the investigator.”

“Many of the men who were placed on administrative leave were accused of boundary violations, not sexual abuse,” Kleponis added. “However, because they were lumped together with those who were accused of sexual abuse, the public automatically assumes that these men are also accused of sexual crimes.”

“These innocent men have had their reputations severely damaged. They have yet to be given the opportunity to speak out publicly to try to clear their names.”

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  • Posted by: Obregon - Apr. 26, 2011 12:39 PM ET USA

    I do not disagree with the criticism. Church authorities have gone from one extreme to the other. Before they played crazy pretending they did not know pedophile priests had been moved from one parish to another. Now, they go after priests who had boundary violations, not sexual abuse of minors. I thought priests were also citizens of this country with rights, and one of those rights is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

  • Posted by: Steve214 - Apr. 26, 2011 7:50 AM ET USA

    The article claimed that we now know what was unknown in the 80's: that treatment doesn't work. But if treatment is not, in fact, effective, then there were no cases that could be pointed to back then accurately establishing that we could put the wolves back in with the sheep. It was just wishful thinking, which was one of the characteristics of Vatican II and a defining characteristic of the Church (not so) militant since.

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