POLITICAL observations & opinions

* The archbishop of Philadelphia has suspended 21 priests connected to allegations of child sex abuse … LMW: it’s a good start … but only when monsignors and bishops and cardinals and Pope Ratzinger himself face criminal charges for their heinous misdeeds will the problem be fully addressed

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 9, 2011

 

Update … NYT (3/10/11) …

  • With the Roman Catholic church here convulsed by a sexual abuse scandal, many of the faithful attended Ash Wednesday services with heavy hearts. But they also said they were pleased that the church had suspended 21 priests on Tuesday and that Cardinal Justin Rigali seemed to be taking the right steps now, even if the archdiocese had not done so in the past.
  • The archdiocese did not provide a list of the names of the 21 priests, but as Ash Wednesday dawned in the 1.45million-member church, its representatives informed the parishes where a priest had been suspended that he had been placed on administrative leave, and someone else celebrated Mass.
  • Several parishioners interviewed outside the cathedral said they wanted the names to be made public, and the names did filter out during the day.
  • Mr. D’Adamo said that although some priests might be innocent, it was important to name them all “because it will put a lot more people’s minds at ease to know who they are.”

read the entire article at … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/us/10priests.html

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pedophile enablers should be prosecuted

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NPR reports (3/9/11) …

  • The archbishop of Philadelphia has suspended 21 priests connected to allegations of child sex abuse, the latest in a series of actions by the archdiocese to deal with findings in a disturbing grand jury report released last month.
  • 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.
  • Maisto Smith will now lead a team of experts to investigate each of the cases, to determine whether the priests should be returned to ministry or removed.
  • In addition to the 21 priests suspended Tuesday, three others were placed on administrative leave after the report was released in February. The archdiocese says eight priests were not placed on leave because the initial independent examination of the cases found no further investigation is warranted.

The archdiocese’s move is a “long overdue and welcomed step,”

says David Clohessy, the executive director

of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

But “it’s only a very partial first step.”

  • the situation in Philadelphia could have ripple effects on litigation nationwide.
  • “It really does change the face of things, because not only can we look to the bishop or the religious superior, but now we can specifically look at how different lower, midlevel managers could be charged with child endangerment,” Wall says.

read the entire story at … http://www.npr.org/2011/03/09/134384800/Pa-Archdiocese-Suspends-Priests-Named-In-Sex-Report

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LMW COMMENT …

it’s a good start … but only when monsignors and bishops and cardinals and the pope face criminal charges for their heinous misdeeds will the problem be fully addressed

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