Fate of 8 Priests Accused of Sex Abuse Revealed in Philadelphia

Recently installed Archbishop Charles Chaput has announced the fate of 8 of 37 priests whose files the Archdiocese is reviewing regarding allegations of sexual abuse. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that five of the eight will be permanently suspended from active ministry. (The MSNBC headline mistakenly read “Priests Defrocked”. Only the Vatican may laicize a priest.) It is widely thought the Archdiocese will petition the Vatican for their laicization. The story has captured headlines less for the actual event than how Chaput’s predecessor had handled these cases. When Justin Cardinal Rigali was the Archbishop of Philadelphia he famously announced that no priest in the Archdiocese who was suspected of abuse was engaged in active ministry. A later investigation found this to be false. The news comes in the midst of the criminal trial of a top priest in Philadelphia who is charged with child endangerment for not intervening in similar child sex abuse cases to protect children.