Philadelphia Suspends 21 Priests

In a major reversal, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that it had placed 21 priests on administrative leave from active ministry in connection with credible charges that they had sexually abused minors. The announcement on March 8 represented an embarrassing turnaround for Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, who had said in response to a devastating grand jury report in February that there were no priests in active ministry “who have an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them.” The suspensions follow an initial examination of files, “looking at both the substance of allegations and the process by which those allegations were reviewed,” according to the archdiocese, which said a “thorough independent investigation” will follow the suspensions. “I know that for many people their trust in the church has been shaken,” Cardinal Rigali said. “I pray that the efforts of the archdiocese to address these cases of concern and to re-evaluate our way of handling allegations will help rebuild that trust in truth and justice.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Chilean clerical sex abuse survivors Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo in Rome, May 2. The three met Pope Francis individually at the Vatican April 27-29. The Vatican announced on May 22 that a second group of abuse victims will visit the pope in June (CNS photo/Paul Haring).
The encounters will take place from June 1-3 at Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where Francis lives.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 22, 2018
Pope Francis talks with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as they arrive for a meeting in the synod hall at the Vatican in this Feb. 13, 2015, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 
Righteous call-outs should be patterned after Cardinal O’Malley’s rebuke of Pope Francis on sex abuse.
Simcha FisherMay 22, 2018
In May, my cousin Christina and her husband Tyler were murdered in their home.
John J. ConleyMay 22, 2018
Follow Father Arturo Sosa's first visit to the Jesuits in Canada!
America StaffMay 22, 2018