Archdiocese of Philadelphia Suspends 21 Priests for Child Sex
Child Sex Scandal at Archdiocese of Philadelphia: Cardinal Justin Rigali Suspends 21 Priests
21 Catholic priests have been suspended in connection to child sex allegations in Philadelphia, according to Cardinal Justin Rigali. Three other priests were placed on administrative leave.
This is a black eye for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, especially on Ash Wednesday, when all eyes are on the Catholic Church. Protesters showed up at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to demonstrate against the continued efforts of the church to protect employees who abuse children.
The names of the suspended priests will be posted at their respective parishes, though it's only a matter of time before their names are made more widely public.
In the meantime, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is trying to justify its about-face: until the grand jury report, it insisted that no child predators were working as priests under its supervision. Is the public genuinely expected to believe that abuse so widespread somehow flew under the Cardinal's radar?
The grand jury report accused a monsignor, three priests and a parochial schoolteacher of abusing kids or failing to prevent abuse by others. It also said that as many as 37 priests remained in active ministry with allegations or reports of inappropriate behavior or sexual abuse of minors.
Cardinal Justin Rigali said in a statement that he's sorry for the harm done to the victims of sexual abuse and is determined to work for a solution that deals effectively with the issue in the church.
The victims and their families, however, say that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been covering for its abusive priests for too long, and only acted to suspend some of them due February's grand jury report. Said David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, ""It would be incredibly naive for anybody to think that a mere suspension of these men somehow signifies a new day in the archdiocese."