POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Philadelphia Archdiocese defrocks 5 priests for sexual abuse of children … it’s a small beginning on what needs to be done in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 7, 2012

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Cardinal Bevilacqua … he is the one who should be held to account … even after he’s dead

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UPI reports (5/6/12) …

  • The Catholic Church’s Philadelphia Archdiocese removed five priests from the ministry after investigating them for child sexual abuse, officials said.
  • The decision to permanently defrock the priests came after a 14-month internal review found them guilty of sexual abuse or misconduct with minors, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
  • “We can’t change the past,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said Friday. “But I pray, and I do believe, that the lessons of the last year have made our church humbler, wiser and a more vigilant guardian of our people’s safety.”
  • The archdiocese’s 14-month probe followed a February 2011 grand jury report that accused local church leaders of ignoring evidence of clergy sex abuse.
  • Chaput would not discuss details of the priests’ cases, including when their misconduct occurred or how many accusers came forward. He cited what he said was the need to protect victims’ privacy.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/05/06/Five-priests-defrocked-for-sex-abuse/UPI-36451336352075/

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LMW COMMENT …

Note that this is a separate action, distinct from the trial currently underway in Philadelphia. See this and other prior posts …

* The Philadelphia sex abuse case is crucial … When the first bishop is behind bars, the whole sordid story of coverup and criminal behavior by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church will begin to crumble

Archbishop Chaput is to be praised for this action, but it should be regarded as a small beginning, not undertaken voluntarily but rather forced on the church by the grand jury report. There is much more to be done, in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

It is not enough that abuser priests are defrocked. They should be charged, tried, and if found guilty, sent to prison.

Likewise, the monsignors, bishops, cardinals and popes who condoned and enabled the sexual abuse of little children for decades need to be held to account in the same manner.

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