Philadelphia Archdiocese Suspends 21 Priests

After declaring that his Archdiocese was not harboring any sexually abusive priests, Cardinal Justin Rigali suspended 21 Philly priests connected to priest sexual abuse allegations. According to church insiders, the mass suspension is the largest one-time suspension since the latest wave of priest abuse scandals began rocking the Catholic Church in 2002.
On February 10, 2010, a Philadelphia grand jury condemned the Archdiocese and top officials within the Archdiocese for covering-up allegations of priest abuse and helping predators remain in power. The grand jury report led to the criminal indictment of 4 Philadelphia priests, including Monsignor William Lynn who served as former Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua’s point man on sexual abuse.
News of the 21 suspensions will serve to further erode the community’s confidence in the Catholic Church’s ability to police itself. The suspensions, while mandated by Cardinal Rigali, serve as a huge embarrassment given that he had publicly assured parishioners and the community that the Philadelphia church had moved beyond the crisis and had fixed the problem.
In another odd move, the announcement didn’t include the names of the priests suspended or provide details concerning the abuse allegations.