Friday, September 23, 2005

Same-Old Same-Old in Philadelphia RCC

How did the Philadelphia Archdiocese respond to District Attorney Lynne Abraham's 418-page grand jury report on pedophile priests in Philadelphia? Archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali told Catholics not to read the report. Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer David O'Reilly reported that Rigali said, “I don't think it's of value to families,” and that (the report) "gives a very slanted view.” The grand jury, which was convened by DA Abraham in 2002 was severely critical of the way the Philadelphia archdiocese covered up the criminal acts of pedophile priests going back to Cardinal John Krol (archbishop from 1961 to 1988) and including Rigali's predecessor, Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua (archbishop from 1988 to 2003). This morning the Associated Press reported that the grand jury said Krol and Bevilacqua “knew that priests were molesting children but conducted bogus 'non-investigations' designed to avoid uncovering abuse, while they and their aides transferred known abusers among parishes.” The AP said the report “names 63 priests 'whose abusive behavior was well-documented in archdiocesan files and by witnesses who testified' before the panel. All had multiple victims, and many more abusers certainly exist." The AP said, “The examples of abuse cited in the report included an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and impregnated by a priest, who took her for an abortion, and a priest who falsely told a 12-year-old boy that the child's mother knew he was being raped repeatedly and allowed it.” The grand jurors said they had wanted to bring criminal charges against RCC officials in Philadelphia but Pennsylvania's statute of limitations stopped any further action. Yesterday, a spokesman for the Catholic Church said the Philadelphia grand jury report showed a bias against the Catholic Church. Some things you can count on: The GOP and the RCC will deny, deny, deny, even when they are caught with their pants down.

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