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Retirement soon for Philadelphia's Cardinal Rigali?

July 14, 2011

The Vatican will soon announce the retirement of Philadelphia’s Cardinal Justin Rigali and the name of his successor, according to Micheal Sean Winters, writing in the National Catholic Reporter.

Cardinal Rigali has faced heavy criticism since February, when a grand jury report charged that the Philadelphia archdiocese had failed to pursue sex-abuse charges against 37 priests. After initially claiming that no priests who faced credible allegations were still in active ministry, Cardinal Rigali was forced to back down, and to place 24 priests on leave while charges against them were investigated. That clumsy handling of the explosive grand-jury report, combined with the cardinal’s advanced age (he is 76), gave rise to rumors that he would soon be replaced.

Cardinal Rigali enjoys close ties to the Vatican, having worked in Rome for years. He was president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the institution that trains Vatican diplomats, and later secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, before being appointed Archbishop of St. Louis in 1994. He moved to the Philadelphia archdiocese in 2003, and was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II that same year.


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