Catholic World News

Cardinal Rigali appears on YouTube, responds to grand jury report

February 14, 2011

Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has issued three statements-- one of them a YouTube video message-- responding to a Philadelphia grand jury’s indictment of four priests who allegedly abused children and a former chancery official who reassigned abusive priests. The report accompanying the indictments indicated that the members of the grand jury had also considered charges against retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

“It is my intention to consider carefully and take very seriously any observations and recommendations of this Grand Jury,” said Cardinal Rigali, who added:

I also welcome the opportunity for ongoing collaboration with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in the vital work of protecting children. At this moment, as people of faith we must reach out in compassion and support for one another and for all who are affected by this news. Victims of sexual abuse by clergy may find this news deeply painful. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. It is in this spirit that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is cooperating fully with the civil authorities in this and all related matters. Through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we recommit ourselves to pray and to labor in His Spirit to do everything possible to rectify the injustices suffered by victims.

In a follow-up statement, Cardinal Rigali said that “there is one assertion in the report that must be addressed immediately. The report states that there remain in ministry archdiocesan priests who have credible allegations of abuse against them. I assure all the faithful that there are no archdiocesan priests in ministry today who have an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them.”

Following the indictments, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that it

  • has rehired a consultant who will “advise Cardinal Justin Rigali regarding how best to address the needs of victims”
  • would hire a delegate of investigations who will handle current and historical abuse investigations
  • has hired a psychologist to “assist the Vicar for Clergy in ensuring the compliance of priests in the active ministry with the Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries”

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    • Posted by: Gil125 - Feb. 14, 2011 2:48 PM ET USA

      Is Cardinal Rigali confirming what the report says---that there are priests who have credible allegations outstanding against them? When he says there are none who have "admitted or established" allegations he certainly seems to be admitting that there are some who have "credible" ones. Parsing his words too closely? I don't think so. These are not off-the-cuff comments. He must have chosen his words with great care.