Archdiocese of Philadelphia Beyond the Crisis Point

“What has happened in Philadelphia, quite frankly, is embarrassing to us.” The statement sounds understated until the name of the person who said it is revealed. The person who spoke those words is none other than Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans. Aymond spoke those words publicly during an interview with a radio station in New Orleans. It’s rare that one bishop would criticize another bishop. Even the National Catholic Reporter’s Michael Sean Winters is calling for the removal of Cardinal Justin Rigali. Here’s an excerpt of Winters’ article: ” To be clear, the entire reputation of the entire American hierarchy, and that of the officials in the Vatican, is being weighed in the balance. There is nothing that has been done or said by SNAP, or by victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson, or by any of the Church’s critics that comes even close to the damage to the Church’s reputation inflicted by Cardinal Justin Rigali.”
Oddly enough, the NY Times ran an article today entitled, “Cardinal Draws Praise in Sexual Abuse Scandal”. Perhaps the Gray Lady doesn’t want to pile on at this point. This is much worse than Boston and even Los Angeles, not because of the number of priests accused but because Church officials have been telling anyone and everyone that the problem is fixed and that they get it. Well, it’s clear from Rigali’s inaction, he doesn’t get it. He may never get it until or unless he’s removed. This is bad because there’s no way for the Church to spin this. After all the Review Boards, John Jay studies, two grand juries, the zero tolerance policy adopted at the bishops Dallas meeting, and civil lawsuits, the officials of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia still keep on doing the same thing. It’s sad and beyond the point of crisis.