Philadelphia Grand Jury Indicts Priests in Sex Abuse Probe

A Philadelphia Grand Jury has indicted 5 Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic priests in its probe of the ongoing sexual abuse of minors as well as the Archdiocese’s efforts to cover up the abuse. Three priests, Edward Avery, Charles Engelhardt and James Brennan, were criminally charged with with sexual assault and rape of minor boys over a span of years.
Monsignor William Lynn, a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the one in charge of sexual abuse cases for the Archdiocese for many years, was charged with child endangerment and allowing the sexual abuse of minors to continue.
The latter charge is unprecedented and is a major victory for children’s advocates across the country. The latest developments in Philadelphia are particularly satisfying since a previous Philadelphia Grand Jury investigation in 2005 didn’t lead to any criminal charges. However, the scathing 2005 report didn’t the modus operandi of a large archdiocese and their role in the conspiracy and cover-up of the sexual abuse of minors.
The present Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Rigali hastily issued a video deploring the abuse of minors and pledging that the church would do everything in its power to root out abuse. However, the video has been widely viewed as a lame attempt at damage control.