POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Philadelphia Bishop Daniel E. Thomas gets it exactly right … a model for other dioceses facing issues of sexual abuse by priests … Pope Ratzinger, are you paying attention?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 22, 2011


Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Philadelphia


Mathew Gambino writes on U.S. Catholic (2/21/11) …

  • The Catholic Church in Philadelphia has pledged a re-examination of the cases of 37 priests who a grand jury report says remain in active ministry despite credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors.
  • Three priests named in the report were immediately prohibited from publicly exercising their priestly ministry until the latest review is complete.
  • “Change begins with action,” the Philadelphia Archdiocese said in a Feb. 16 statement. “The grand jury report makes it clear that for as much as the archdiocese has done to address child sexual abuse, there is still much to do.”
  • The re-examination of the 37 cases will be led for the archdiocese by Gina Maisto Smith, a former city assistant district attorney with long experience prosecuting child sexual assault cases who now practices law privately.
  • As she reviews the 37 cases mentioned in the grand jury report, she “will also re-examine the procedures that were used in those cases,” she said during an interview Feb. 17.
  • Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Thomas also discussed the fallout of the grand jury report Feb. 17.
    • He suggested not only victims of sexual abuse are suffering at this time, but so too are the “faithful majority” of priests, who serve parishioners “with dedication, fidelity and with great sincerity.” For these priests, he added, “the suffering is that victims could be harmed and that a brother priest could be involved.”
    • Another cause of anguish among priests, the bishop said, “is because priests are called to represent the person of Jesus Christ. They are called to that higher moral standard. It’s not that they are placed on a pedestal but because that is what is required of them by their office in the church.”
    • He acknowledged many Catholics might be experiencing a crisis of confidence in the church’s initiatives.

“It’s incumbent (on the church) to get to the root of the issue,

and to put in place those actions that are going to address

any of the behaviors which are both sinful and criminal.”

read the entire article at … http://www.uscatholic.org/news/2011/02/former-prosecutor-re-examine-sex-abuse-claims-against-37-priests



Bishop Thomas gets it exactly right. His actions are a model for other dioceses facing issues of sexual abuse by priests. Pope Ratzinger, are you paying attention?



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