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July 19th, 2011
07:56 AM ET

Pope accepts resignation of Philadelphia archbishop amid sex scandal

By the CNN Wire Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) -The new leader of Philadelphia's Catholic community is geared up to cope with the sex abuse scandal rocking the archdiocese and promises to "find a way through it."

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver, who takes the reins from Cardinal Justin Rigali as the new Philadelphia archbishop, says he's not intimidated by the challenges dropped on his plate.

Amid American church abuse scandal, Philadelphia stands out

"No bishop will solve any issues on his own - he needs everyone involved. This is not my problem, it's our problem," said Chaput, introduced on Tuesday as the huge region's new archbishop.

"We'll find a way through it, because we really do believe the church is the body of Christ."

Chaput was ordained a priest in 1970. He became a bishop at the age of 43 and has served as archbishop of Denver since 1997. A member of the Prairie Band Potowatami Nation, Chaput is the second Native American to be ordained a bishop in the United States and the first Native American archbishop.

Speaking at a news conference with Rigali in Philadelphia, Chaput said he hopes the church and the community will approach issues of sexual abuse and any future reparations with a combination of pastoral counseling and prudence.

The change comes five months after a Philadelphia grand jury report accused the archdiocese of failing to investigate claims of sexual abuse by priests against children. But Rigali stressed during the news conference that his resignation had nothing to do with the scandal.

"When bishops turn 75, they present their letter of resignation to the pope, and that's exactly what I did. In the meantime, by all means, we've had all of these problems which we are endeavoring to face and to resolve as best we possibly can ... so there's no particular relationship to my resignation," Rigali said.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said he felt Rigali tried to do what he thought was best for the church.

"I commend him for promptly removing over 20 priests with outstanding allegations of improper relations with minors ... I hope that Archbishop Chaput follows through on these initiatives," Williams said in a statement.

The grand jury report led to the Philadelphia district attorney's office criminally charging four Philadelphia priests and a parochial school teacher with raping and assaulting boys in their care. A former high-ranking archdiocese official was accused of allowing the abusive priests to have access to children.

All five pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse and conspiracy charges in April. Edward Avery and Charles Engelhardt were charged with assaulting a 10-year-old boy at St. Jerome Parish in Philadelphia from 1998 to 1999. Bernard Shero, a teacher at the school, is charged with assaulting the same boy there in 2000. Avery was defrocked in 2006. James Brennan, another priest, is accused of assaulting a different boy, a 14-year-old, in 1996.

Monsignor William Lynn, who served as the secretary for clergy under then-Philadelphia Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua, was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the alleged assaults.

From 1992 until 2004, Lynn was responsible for investigating reports that priests had sexually abused children.

The grand jury found that Lynn, 60, endangered children, including the victims in these most recent cases, by knowingly allowing dangerous priests to continue in the ministry in roles in which they had access to children.

In addition to the charges, the grand jury alleged that as many as 37 priests remained in ministry in Pennsylvania despite solid, credible allegations of abuse. Rigali had initially challenged that claim, but eventually 29 of them were placed on administrative leave and no further investigation was warranted on the remaining eight.

"I want to be clear: These administrative leaves are interim measures. They are not in any way final determinations or judgments," Rigali said in a statement in March.

In the months following the release of the grand jury report, Rigali, 76, who succeeded Bevilacqua in 2003, was named in several civil suits against the Philadelphia Archdiocese alleging sexual abuse.

This year's grand jury report is the city's second issued regarding priests' alleged sexual abuse in Philadelphia. The first grand jury report was released in 2003. A gag order imposed by a Philadelphia judge in the case remains in effect, barring all parties involved in the criminal case from talking to the media.

–CNN's Sarah Hoye and Hada Messia contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Crime • Pennsylvania • Sex abuse

soundoff (378 Responses)
  1. JJ in CT

    "I want to be clear: These administrative leaves are interim measures. They are not in any way final determinations or judgments," Rigali said in a statement in March."

    Great. So the molesters will be abck on the roster in the furture? They'll probably claim to be cured, forgiven for their sins, and then back to molestation.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Andrew

      No, actually, it's a recognition that these priests haven't yet been convicted of anything. All there are so far are accusations, and even in the "guilty until proven guilty" mindset with which the courts approach priests there is a possibility they'll be acquitted. To destroy their futures on the basis of accusations alone would be horrible. If they're ever convicted of anything, I'm sure they'll be laicized.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Patrick O’Malley

      Google "Philadelphia district attorney grand jury report" and read just the first 6 pages, and you’ll see what these pedophile priests did to children, and its horrifying. The Catholic church is still such a dangerous place for children.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Andrew

      Patrick, those grand jury reports are accusations, they haven't even been to trial yet so you can't use them to tar people who so far haven't been convicted of anything. The accusations may be horrendous, but until and unless they become convictions you cannot use them to destroy the defendants and you certainly can't use them to persecute people who had no connection at all to the alleged crimes.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  2. AZLib

    I always wonder why it only seems like America finds such problems. Is the church shipping all their garbage here? Why is there not a world wide investigation into this going on? Looks like the vatican simply turns their head to the problem except in the US where they end up in court. I'm sorry but the pope really needs to step up the plate and clean the church world wide else loose the reputation of the church for a generation or more.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • News Flash

      IMHO, it IS headed to the International Criminal Court, as a criminal conspiracy. May take a while, by it WILL happen.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Nah.

      We Americans don't shut up easily.

      Eventually the truth comes out here.

      I have zero doubt that the South American church has a problen TEN FOLD ours, but it is easier to supress the truth amongst the poor.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  3. Joseph

    Hell is going to be over filling with Catholics.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  4. C.E.O. Popey

    The Vatican runs the Church like Rupert Murdoch runs News Corp.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Jay

      LOL

      July 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Does that mean Murdoch buggers little boys and the Pope hacks phones?

      Wouldn't surprise me in the least.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Rupert Murdoch

      I bugger privacy and stockholders and constitutions and law enforcement and all my readers.

      Best of all, I bugger all the lovely conservatives who adore me and my temple of sodomy, Fox News. You see, it's easiest to screw the people who buy my bullshit totally and completely.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  5. Colin

    Isocrates You pointed out some real scoudles below!!

    What amuses me is that Catholics believe that the pope has personal conversations with God (that nobody else ever hears) and is infallible when speaking on matters of Church doctrine. Not just the little children, but grown adults!!

    They then wistfully ignore the fact that Church doctrine changes and that former popes therefore could not possibly have been “infallible”. Limbo, for example, was touted by pope after pope as a place where un-baptized babies who die go, until Pope Benedict XVI just eradicated it (or, more accurately, so watered it down as effectively eradicate it in a face saving way). Seems all those earlier “infallible” Popes were wrong – as they were on Adam and Eve v. evolution, heliocentricity v. geocentricity, and a host of other issues that required an amendment of official Church doctrine.

    They also ignore the innumerable murders, rampant corruption and other crimes committed over the centuries by their “infallible”, god-conversing popes.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Brian

      Regardless of one's personal view of the truth of the doctrine of infallibility, it would at least be helpful to understand what it entails, and your post involves a significant misunderstanding.. The doctrine of infallibility only applies when the Pope is speaking "ex cathedra" (see wiki article below for detail), and it has only been invoked a handful of times in the entire 2000 year history of the papacy. It does not apply to ordinary pronouncements of the Pope, even on doctrinal matters. It does not prevent the Pope from sinning or making errors in matters other than when he is speaking "ex cathedra". For example, the matter of Limbo that you bring up was never defined "ex cathedra", it was simply a traditional belief that had evolved over time, so it does not fall until the domain of papal infallibility.

      For folks who believe in Papal infallibility, it's really not that much different from folks who believe in scriptural infallibility. The scriptures were written by men as well.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility

      July 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      Colin,,,,, Do you stay awake at night making up this stuff or just do it on the fly? For example:
      You said " What amuses me is that Catholics believe that the pope has personal conversations with God ,,, Really? I've never heard anyone claim this.
      "And is infallible when speaking on matters of Church doctrine. " Yes, this is true. It is believed the Holy Spirit guides him in these matters.

      "They then wistfully ignore the fact that Church doctrine changes." No, you are wandering again. Doctrine doesn't change. It may become more clearly understood as time goes on though.
      "Limbo, for example, was touted by pope after pope as a place where un-baptized babies who die go.",,, Again, you're wandering. This has never been taught as doctrine and I ask you to prove that it has. It was only a possible theory. No one knew for sure about this. You again said " Seems all those earlier “infallible” Popes were wrong " Since it was never taught as a doctrine, how could they have been wrong?

      "They also ignore the innumerable murders, rampant corruption and other crimes committed over the centuries by their “infallible”, god-conversing popes. " ,,,, Most certainly wrong again. There have many crimes committed in the name of religion throughout time. The vast majority of them had nothing to do with the Church or the Pope. It was just used as a convenient excuse. Although there were instances when terrible things were done by people in the Church as well.

      So the bottom line is, you're bigotry and hatred of the Church is allowing you to spew your poison of lies and untruths to others. Hopefully, you have enough honesty to do some research for the truth. But I doubt it. You seem to just want to continue with your ignorance and hate.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Brian
      As you may have noticed the doctrine of papal infallibility was "defined dogmatically in the First Vatican Council of 1870."
      Thus your statement that it was used infrequently in the 2000 year history is a vast understatement. They made it up in the 1800's to support the controversial ideas concerning the BVM, (Assumption etc.)

      July 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Andrew

      Bucky, just because the doctrine wasn't proclaimed until the 19th century doesn't mean that it didn't exist earlier. The whole idea of Petrine Supremacy couldn't exist without it, and that goes back to the very early days of the Church. Beliefs usually exist in the Church and are debated for centuries before they become doctrines, for instance the Immaculate Conception of Mary was only proclaimed in the 19th century but it was mentioned by St. Augustine among others almost 1500 years earlier.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  6. CleanUpYourHeadlines

    Your headline should match your news. Cardinal Rigali submitted his resignation last year, which is the age at which he was required to. B16 accepted it when he had found a viable successor. And a very viable one indeed. Your headline and catch lines are deceptive. Please change them ASAP.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Patrick O’Malley

      How bout "Pedophile Protector Rigali Has Resignation Before Incarceration"?

      July 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  7. Kate

    The usual anti catholic diatribes here that bespeak unschooled people's primitive fear of Catholicism – fear based on mostly incorrect historical 'facts'. Do some reading from objective history sources and you'll sing a more realistic song about the history of the Catholic church. One thing you need to remember is that the people not the clergy make up the Church – a Church which has been in existence since Christ's death.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Bobby

      Kate seems to pretend that the priest/Catholic Church pedaphile scandals that have been going on for decades are a figment of everyone's imagination.
      Your intellectual dishonesty is noted.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Colin

      Kate, please see my posting on page 1 of this blog. That is why I, and an increasing number of people are anti-Catholic. In short, its theology is all made up.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • TC

      Well said Kate. also, it seems to never occur to any of these haters in here that the RCC is targeted by eveil people to infiltrate the church and try to bring it down from within. All these pervs are looking for hunting grounds and also the entire protestant group has more probs with this stuff but not protestant church is remotely as large as RCC so we don;t hear abot it.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Melina319

      Kate – you tell people to read history and understand the fact, but I imagine that your "facts" are coming from your association with whatever church you attend, thus making them questionable. I dont think any religion should be attacked or considered strange or unbelievable. All religion is based on faith. There are no facts to back any of it up. So, why should catholics or protestants judge others just b/c they've been around longer and are more widely accepted. None of the religions can back up their claims b/c they are all a matter of faith.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Kate

      Too naive!

      July 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • TC

      Colin – you wasted so much of your time typing all of your personal beliefs which reside in no basis of fact. Go to school and learn about history and then pray for the grace to understand – make some sort of attempt to use your own mind.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • GvilleT

      Protestant churches don't offer their child abusers a cloak to hide behind, then lie about it all. Protestant churches believe the leaders in the church are sinning men like everyone else, not mini celebate Christlike gods like the RCC belives their leaders to be.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • TC

      Raneir – whatever wierd german religion you are has no weight in arguments against the RCC – your beliefs are cultish and desrespectful to all of faith. Take your Nazism elsewhere

      July 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Isocrates

      The Catholic church has been marred by corruption since its foundation. Have faith in your religion all you want and need, but to deny these accusations is doing no credit to your church.

      Need I mention Pope Sergius III, Pope John X, Pope John XII, Pope Benedict IX, Pope Alexander VI, Pope Paul II, Pope Sixtus IV, Pope Leo X, and Pope Julius III.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • TC

      Gville – you another ignorant protestant that knows nothing about RCC but attacks – typical. Learn some real facts before adressing what you think is wrong.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Colin

      TC – you are the third Catholic this morning to state that my post is wrong. None of you has specifically pointed out where it it wrong. Indeed each time I challange someone to point out an error, they do not answer.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • TC

      Colin – where do I start? Dude, just do some elementary research on history, then it would be worth my time to discus with you.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • AJR

      Kate:

      You seem to be operating under the same erroneous assumption as most Catholics. The Christian church has been around since Christ's death....not the Catholic Church. Catholic teachings are skewed to make it seem as if the Catholic church was founded by Christ....but that is not the case. The CHRISTIAN church was founded by Christ.

      The sum and substance of Catholic dogma is comprised of man-made rules or "laws," and have nothing to do with the actual teachings of Christ.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Colin

      OK TC, let me make it easier for you. Point out just one. You choose.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • GvilleT

      TC...I will honestly pray for you like I pray for all these abuse and cover-up victims.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Christmas

      I STAND BY KATE and the Catholic Church!! Seriously. Get your facts straight, everyone, and stop flaming. I can't believe all the anti-Catholic hatred being spammed everywhere. First of all, pedophiles are everywhere. They can be any religion or no religion. It's only if it involves Catholic priests that the media makes a big deal about it so everyone hears about it.

      Secondly, as a fellow Catholic, I stand by what Kate said about our religion existing for so long that it almost dates back to Christ's death.

      I'm just SO happy to be Catholic 🙂 🙂

      July 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • carolyn

      What 'historical facts" are being not understood. The historical fact is that too many of those "priest" HAVE been raping children. The historical fact is that the POPE AND THE CHURCH have ignored it in the interest of protecting child abuser's. To be sure the Catholic church isn't the only culprit; but they do seem to have far more "historical" fallibility judging by the sheer number of children abused. we're not talking about 1 or 2 children; these are thundred's of thousand of children ALL OVER THE WORLD subjected to all kinds of abuse and for a very long time. Kate- Faith in God and belief in tradition/relgion are two different things. Faith in God dictates that there is no such thing as an 'infallible human being. Perhaps that is the heart of the Catholic or any religion's mammon

      July 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • News Flash

      TC
      That's got to be it. They're moles, hidden in the seminaries starting from when they were 16 years old, and carefully nurtured to bring down the church from the inside. Yeah, that;s got to be it.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • News Flash

      AJR
      The Catholic church WAS the Christian church for a while anyway. The Christian church has NOT been around since his death. They were faithful Jews for some years after the death, and the idea of "starting a church" would never have occurred to them. After the Jerusalem community lost it's fight with Paul and the Roman community, (about the need to remain Jewish) there was some orthodoxy, but the communities still held many differences, through 4th Century at least, when Constantine called the Council of Nicea, to consolidate his power, and unify the empire.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  8. Brittany

    It was no secret in the Philadelphia area that Rigali was most likely leaving, this story is misleading as far as to the reasons. Cardinal Rigali is aging and most in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been wondering (issues aside) when the time would come.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  9. bobby

    I think YBP needs educating. Pedophiles are not gay, they are straights who happen to be attracted in a sick way to children. If you would do your research, you will find that pedophiles are 98% straights.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • TC

      If it is same gender, then thye are gay and pedophiles

      July 19, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Popey Does Dallas

      Boy did YOU ever drink the bathwater on the Church's bogus "internal investigation." The men who sodomized boys were straight. Right.

      I loved the way the "investigation" said the cause was not the rules demanding priests be celebate, but instead was that it was the culture of the sixties that really caused it. Got that? It was nothing the church did; it was that hippy disease that was spreading around that infected priests. Talk about obvious bullshit that only a sycophant toady could actually believe.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • carolyn

      Bobby- you're thinking too hard. child abuse is perpetrated by either gender. period

      July 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Gay or straight is driven by the comparrison of the victims gender

      The age is what makes the crimes so horrific.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  10. Mark

    RELIGION IS POISON.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • ajk68

      Scientism (believing science answers all questions) is the worst religion.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Rick

      ajk: who is claiming that science has all the answers?

      July 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    I wonder, why nobody attacks the pope. It is a matter of fact that the RCC is a strict hierarchy with the pope as it's head. The pope is really personally responsible for all the mess in his body (RCC).

    Maybe we are witnesses of a historical event: Child abuse could be the end of papacy.

    Papacy is built on the unmarried priesthood. The pope, the bishops and the priests together are the unmarried "Christhood".

    According to paragraph 1618 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a priest (little Christ) must be unmarried like the big Christ. Celibacy is essential for the Christ-likeness of the priesthood. The RCC depends on the unmarried priesthood.They are vehicles of the Holy Spirit (according to the RCC doctrine). No priesthood, no Spirit, no Church.

    I am very glad that the pope has blundered into a quagmire.

    I hope, the pope will not incite the secular states against each other, as he has done in former times. A third world war would catapult us back to the Middle Ages, and the pope would use his chance to take over rule again.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • univeralsunset

      the pope is a pervert too, just hasn't been caught but his brother has. lol lol

      July 19, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • TC

      Wow – what have you been smoking? Middle ages, war, wishing for the fall of people? I recommend you quit the drugs and pray for peace and love.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • TC

      Ranier – I saw your site, now I understand why you write so much incomprehensible stuff. You are German, so english is your second language and you are a believer of fundamental protestantism which uses no historical basis for belief.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • sbp

      Rainer's just a lunatic extremist Lutheran. So, of course, his religion is 100% right and everyone else, Catholics, Jews, Hindus, Aetheists, are 100% wrong – and dangerous.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Melina319

      While I dont think that the Pope should be given the power he has over the Church and it's people, I will not go so far as to call him a pervert or blame him for what happened in his churches on another continent. The retiring/resigning Archbishop should not be able to escape inquiry by simply going away. If these allegations are proven to be true, he should be held responsible, regardless of his age or employment status. Does anyone else find it interesting that three priests are accused of abusing the same child? I find that hard to imagine. I hope the facts come out and the guilty, whether it be the priests who committed assault, or the children who lied, are punished.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @TC/sbp

      It is a matter of fact that the pope has committed a lot of crimes in the course of history.

      For example, at Luther's time he asked the Islamic Turks for coming to Germany and destroying the Protestant Church. Isn't he a rat?

      July 19, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • ajk68

      Plenty of people attack the pope. In fact it is pretty much constant.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  12. John

    Rigali's not just "the bishop" he's a cardinal.

    That's a much bigger fish.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Jhon

      I thought cardinal is a bird.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  13. SoundOfForest

    Europeans and other barbarians used to burn boys and girls to death. The Church alone taught it's wrong and fixed it.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • William Demuth

      HUH

      WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM?

      As we speak, little boys are being buggered by these monsters.

      Speak out against them, or YOU are just as guilty.

      You cult members ALWAYS claim the same stuff, and the molestations continue.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Melina319

      You're joking, right?! The burning of "heretics" was sanctioned and carried out by the Church and by those working in the name of the Church. The definition of heresy changed at the whim of church leaders and kings/queens. The "business" of the Church has a long established history of theft, abuse, corruption, and any other criminal enterprise you can imagine. I'm not saying religion is bad, or that faith is bad. I'm saying that when you turn religion and faith into a business, you are exploiting the beliefs of your people and continuing the corrupt history of what we know as the Church.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • ajk68

      @Melina: Your comments are very misinformed based on 19th century caricatures hostile to Catholicism. Read some history books.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • ajk68

      I should have said, read some history books with a more balanced view.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Colin

      Melina, you are correct. That is exactly what happened. ajk68 and other Catholics think that the general public are as gullible as they are and will accept a re-writing of history by the RC.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Melina319

      @ajk68 – just because you dont like the facts or you disagree, doesnt make them not facts and doesnt mean that I havent read books. apparently, we have simply read different books – if you have read any at all that werent provided by/for the Church.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Buddha Loves Sound Of Forest

      SoundOfForest is our own very crazy Justina Frederica Fairgarden( and about 97 other names, which she changes because she thinks it hides who she is). She is always easily spotted due to her distinct form of religion-obsessed insanity and here mentally unsound writing style. She actually seeems to think that she is Jesus' voice on this forum, despite her massive problems of hate and bigotry.

      You don't need to respond to her – she is so nutzoid that she is her own worst critic.

      She also pretends to know everything about America despite not being American and not living here.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Here's my point of view. Any organization, regardless of how benevolent, with any length of time in existence has dirty hands. This includes countries, religions, even political groups. Everyone has dirty laundry. Can we condemn the actions of these specific priests? Absolutely. Can we condemn the entire Catholic faith because of it? That's no more fair than condemning all of America because of the actions of the KKK.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  14. mervel

    We have the right to boycott the Church every day, it is a voluntary organization no one cares who goes or not. With a billion people you are going to have some problems. Don't like the Church, don't go to mass its pretty simple, I don't really get the obsession with the Catholic Church that some non-believers have?

    At the same time people who cover things up need to be held accountable including bishops, school principles and college presidents. All organizations that work with kids need to take allegations seriously and not simply move the teacher to the rubber room or move the priest to some other parish. They need to turn this whole issue over the the police. What this means though is that some innocent teachers and priests are going to get their lives ruined, but maybe that is worth the price?

    What should be done with an allegation that is unfounded, just a rumor? What do people think should happen if a parent comes to a principle and says I have "heard" that this teacher molests?

    July 19, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • William Demuth

      Pay your taxes, lock up your deviants and stay out of politics, or we shall burn your damn altars to the ground.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • TC

      I agree with most of what you wrote. I don;t agree that people shouldn;t go to mass. Why would anyone let the actions of others prevent them from worshipping God? Please don;t encourage people to stop going to church.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • TC

      @Demuth – burn altars? Sounds moral and civilized.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • William Demuth

      TC

      Defending children is immoral?

      YOU enable the rapists!

      They need to die.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • TC

      So you're a killer Demuth? Show me your war face! You gotta war face? Well you don;t scare me or anyone else as you are so focused on your righteuosness you can;t see where you really need to go.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • William Demuth

      TC

      I don't kill anyone.

      I HAVE voted to execute in trials. I HAVE given to Joseph Druces defense fund (he killed Geoghan in Boston so he deserves some free smokes for all his good works) and I do help people embezzle from the church

      I also support several groups in Belfast, who have been known to rearrange kneecaps!

      You see the key has ALWAYS been to get the Abrahamic idiots to kill each other.

      And like it or not, it seems my plan is working

      July 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  15. Liberty Queen

    the catholic church... and islam... religious cults predicated on pedophilia of girls and boys.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • TC

      And your evidence for that? Oh that's right, you have none since history shows exactly how these religions formed.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • John

      You're absolutely right.

      Anyone capable of a little research would know the same thing.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Wolf

      You get it.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  16. TC

    Hopefully another cancerous loser finally cut out of the church.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Bishop I. M. Borg

      Don't worry. There's already a long list of cancerous losers ready to take his place.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  17. Ditters

    This story implies that he is retiring to avoid the scandal. Thats misleading. As if he were resigning for reasons of shame or disgrace. Not surprising in that its coming from CNN.

    EVERY Bishop submits a letter of resignation at the age of 75 and retires shortly thereafter. Everyone knew this man's retirement was imminent.

    So whats so important about this "news" story? Or is it just another reason for CNN to hold up the Catholic Church's dirty laundry?

    July 19, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Old Soldier

      Ditters is right. Cardinal Rigali's retirement is just a normal, due course retirement at the end of a long and distinguished career as a servant of God. Those who are throwing stones at him are simply indulging in the newest wave of American Anti-Catholicism which has been a blight in America since its colonial days. When this wave of persecution ends, enemies of the Catholic Church will simply find some other excuse to "bash" the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has survived waves of persecution off and on for 2,000 years, and will survive this one as well.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Liz

      Thank you for pointing this out!! I was just thinking the exact same thing as I read the story.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  18. SoundOfForest

    The Church does the right thing.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • John

      When?

      Tomorrow?

      July 19, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  19. Sarav Chidambaram

    And these are the people who are teaching morality to Americans and trampling others rights.. This is high time that we boycott the church..

    July 19, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • TC

      What an idiotic comment. Leave faith because of the evil doings of others? Now that's evil and stupid.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Hadjii

      TC – I agree that leaving a faith because of the evin doings of others is dumb. But leaving a faith for the REPEATED evil of so many reports of child abuse and molestation, then covering it up and pretending that it never happened? Yeah, that I can understand. The Catholic church has been corrupt for far too long and has done next to nothing about it. Boycott away...

      July 19, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • TC

      Hadjii – all religions have corrupt people in them – its the good people who stay and fight that mae it better. If people decided to leave their country becasu eof hte corruption in it, we would have no where to live.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Hadjii

      Do you not think that if there is corruption at the highest level and it continues unchecked that it's still OK to stand by them? Why stick by them if they refuse to change, refuse to prosecute those who are offending and even go so far as to defend child mosleters? No thank you.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Hadjii

      Besides.. the church is a vessel to teach moral behavior and faith. Governments... not so much.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • TC

      You don;t stand by the offenders Hadjii- you cleanse the church of them. Make sense? Clean your house? Expel the evil that tries to invade it?

      July 19, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Hadjii

      TC, Cleaning house would be a great idea. However, the church has continuously NOT cleaned house. They have hidden away the offenders over and over again. It isn't working. It's broke. So unless they can make a "super-pope" who trumps the pope who can clean house, forget it.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  20. Dan

    There is nothing surprising here.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:21 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.