Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Grand Jury Report Paints Ugly Picture in PA

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Grand Jury Report Paints Ugly Picture in PA

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA -- A grand jury has released a scathing report on the extent of the sexual abuse that took place in the Philadelphia archdiocese since the 1950s after reviewing allegations against 169 priests. While none of the crimes can be prosecuted due to the statutes of limitation, the report names Cardinals John Krol and Anthony Bevilacqua, former heads of the archdiocese, as perpetrators of a vast cover-up of the abuse, according to the Associated Press.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, the current archbishop, was criticized by many of his priests for public statements in defense of the archdiocese. One official statement calls the grand jury "a sword to attack the church."

At a private meeting between Rigali and more than 300 archdiocesan priests on September 27, one priest told the cardinal that he was "greatly disappointed in the archdiocese's weak and deplorable" defense of Krol and Bevilacqua, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

On October 4, Rigali wrote a pastoral letter to the archdiocese saying, "This is certainly a time of purification for the Catholic Church in Philadelphia. …

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