Philly Worries Abusive Priests Remain

Three weeks after a vicious grand jury report accused a Philadelphia diocese of the Roman Catholic Church of providing a safe haven for predatory priests, as many as 37 priests accused of inappropriate behavior toward minors or sexual abuse are still active in the church. The extent of the scandal in Philadelphia, and the cover-up the grand jury said stretched over decades, is such that one Catholic historian called it “Boston reborn,” referring to pervasive abuse exposed in the church’s Boston diocese in 2002. The church has given no explanation for the priests’ continuing in ministry. Cardinal Justin Rigali said there were no priests with substantiated allegations against them still in ministry, but a week later put three priests on administrative leave. Parishioners in the Philadelphia area said it was a “tough day” to be a Catholic, and that priests even suspected of abuse should be removed immediately.