Wednesday, October 05, 2005

a child of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia reflects

For those of you who may not know, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been under investigation by the District Attorney of the same city for priest sexual abuses and for the cover-up that went on during the tenures of John Cardinal Krol and Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua. You can check out the Philadelphia Inquirer's website to read the full report released by the DA a week or two ago and several articles about the scandal (free registration is required to view any articles).

I read as much of the DA's report as I could before I became physically ill. One of the credibly accused priests was in my high school while I was there. That's as close as my brothers and I ever came to one of those sick sick men (I hope).

What is extrememly disheartening about the whole situation is what people have said over and over again since all of this started coming out in Boston 3 years ago: the Cardinals were more interested in shielding these men, their brother priests, than in protecting any of the kids those sick men hurt.

To read tesimony from the victims is crippling: The boy who was told by the priest who molested him that his parents agreed to let the priest do these things to him for money, The boy who was being raped in the sacristy when another priest walked in on it and did NOTHING to stop it, it goes on....

Now Justin Cardinal Rigali gets to clean up the mess.

This is hard for me since I have sort of admired Cardinal Krol until now (I've been lukewarm on Bevilacqua since he ordered the closure of several high schools when I was a high schooler in the Archdiocesan Schools in the '90's). He was committed to preserving the liturgy and implemented the changes of Vatican II sensibly (some might say with an iron fist). But do you reconcile this to your idea of that man, a trusted advisor of JPII? He had to answer to God for that. And Cardinal Bevilacqua will have to as well.

It is more important than ever for us to pray for our priests. More scandal in the news = Harder for a priest to be a priest. St. John Vianney, pray for them. St. John Neumann, pray for them. St. Charles Borromeo, pray for them.

No comments: