Disgraced Catholic official to preach in NYC; SNAP responds
Noted Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo (of “Whispers in the Loggia”) reports that Cardinal Tim Dolan is bringing disgraced Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia to St. Patrick's Cathedral to preach next Thursday.
Like he did last year with a New York teenager, Cardinal Dolan is callously and needlessly rubbing even more salt into already deep and still fresh wounds of hundreds of clergy sex abuse
Tens of thousands of Catholic clerics could preach in St. Pat's next week. Almost any of them would be less upsetting and hurtful than Rigali.
Nine years after bishops promised to "reform," Rigali, under pressure, was forced to suspend 21 accused Philly priests on one day in March of 2011. These suspensions took place exactly one month after Rigali wrote his flock assuring them that there were no credibly-accused priests remaining within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In 2005, Rigali kept silent as his lawyer blasted prosecutors as “anti-Catholic” in the wake of a second scathing report about widespread clergy sex crimes and cover ups in his archdiocese.
We suggest that Dolan disinvite Rigali and replace him with Winona Bishop John Quinn. Earlier this month, he warned parishioners and the public in his area about a notorious, defrocked serial predator priest, Thomas Adamson, who had just moved back to Minnesota. Bishop Quinn did immediately what many bishops today refuse to do: take quick and positive action regarding clergy sex crimes.
Last year, a 16 year old girl in Dolan's archdiocese reported being molested three times by her Bronx pastor and employer, Fr. Jaime Duenas. Police arrested the priest. But Dolan posted on his personal blog harsh statement about the girl, questioning why she returned to her job at the parish even after she’d been assaulted. (http://blog.archny.org/?p=1556).
Neither Dolan nor Rigali, to the best of our knowledge, ever acted so responsibly as Quinn with kids' safety. If church officials really want parishioners and others to believe that the church wants to be open and honest about clergy sex crimes, they should herald a man like Bishop Quinn, not honor Justin Rigali.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.