Thursday, March 10, 2011


Below, courtesy of Rocco Palmo's Whispers in the Loggia, is the Ash Wednesday homily of Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia.  In it he refers to the issue of the grand jury's report on priests previously exonerated by the Church re: charges of sexual abuse of minors.  37 cases are being reviewed by the Archdiocese now; 21 priests have been suspended effective immediately.

The tragedy for me is that I tried to listen to Cardinal Rigali's homily with the ears of one of the victims, or of someone from S.N.A.P.--and I am sure such a person would find the homily distressingly inadequate.  It must have sounded to such a person like he was saying we need to repent of such abuse in the same way that we strive during Lent to repent of over-eating or give up smoking.  I am sure the Cardinal is personally devastated by the situation; I am only referring to the impression.  The whole situation has me very, very sad and disheartened...


  1. This is very sad. At the beginning of the school year I had a small child in Religous Education that began to cry because she wanted her mommy. But the class hadn't ended yet so while I was trying to calm her I put her in my lap. And then I realized that I wasn't allowed to do that.Very sad indeed. It causes everyone involved with any child in the Church to second guess their actions and words when they want to reach out.

  2. Yes, I agree, Father David, that Cardinal Justin Rigali of the Philadelphia Diocese seemed to have difficulty in expressing what any abused person might want to hear. It appears he skirted around the whole miserable situation of guilty clergy and abused victims, until he built up courage to say 'sexual abuse' by catholic clergy. He did not offer to rectify these crimes with legal proceedings. Yes, he must have suffered to be placed in this responsible position. Let the sadness of this Catholic church experience never again be repeated. Be of good heart, all you inherently fine priests -- our continuing prayers support you.