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. Matt H

    Wow CNN, jump to conclusions much? I hope Cardinal Rigali sues you for this (ruining his name). He resigned a year ago when he turned 75, which is custom for priests. Why not do a little research before psoting an article like this

    July 19, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • sbp

      Wow Matt, fail to read the article much? He submitted his resignation a year ago, he did not resign a year ago.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • News Flash

      Why not read the article before posting your crap ?
      "The Vatican cited Rigali's age as the reason. Canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation from the pastoral governance of their diocese on their 75th birthday, which Rigali did in April 2010."

      July 19, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • William Demuth

      Look at you defending the charlatan!

      Hows about thinking for yourself, this creeps protects men who bugger little boys.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • GvilleT

      I think the whole point here is why did he resign at the age of 75 citing his age. Wow, that's so many years of covering up abuses in the Church that he knew about. I just wonder how many he knew about yet allowed to continue and ruin others. That's the whole point here. HHis butt should be in jail getting a taste of his own medicine.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Brendan, Philadelphia, Pa

      All bishops submit the resignation letter at 75. It's not usually exercised so soon. Rigali did not expect it to be exercised this early. It is a direct result of his failure around the scandal.

      Krol was in terrible health and still served until he was 77. Bevilacqua served until he was 80.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • bobby

      Matt, as with any job you decide to leave, you turn in your wanting to resign, then the waiting period begins. Same here, altho it took one year for approval.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  2. Brendan, Philadelphia, Pa

    The Rigali tenure has been terrible. Ignorance of this scandal is absolutely no excuse despite when any of these acts took place or when accusations were made. It should have been an absolute priority.

    The only priority I saw was money-making. The Archdiocese pulled out of every needy parish and school they could in the last ten years. They exploited the alums of North Catholic for millions and then pulled the plug on the school anyway. They've cried pauper, but are meanwhile building mega-schools in the suburbs where they can chase the money under the guise of "we need to serve our membership wherever they may be." They absolutely miss the point of Christianity. I quote Fr. McNamee who served in a needy North Philly neighborhood for decades without an ounce of support from the Diocese, "We don't serve the people because they are Catholic. We serve the people because we are Catholic."

    July 19, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • William Demuth

      What they serve is a buffett of little boys to closeted monsters.

      He should have said

      "They do not molest them because they are Catholic, we molest them because WE are Catholic"

      July 19, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Brendan, Philadelphia, Pa

      $1.1 billion Catholics and over 400,000 priests. Your labelling of the entire body is ridiculous. I won't defend the transgressors, but they represent a very small minority. You could label the world with your logic.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Floyd

      There is the bigotry of @William Demuth to the forefront. It is not about the abusing priests, he is accusing all Catholics of this. You dude, are a bigot spreading your own brand of propaganda. Lay off the hate.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  3. CopOnTheBeat

    ALL priests are pediphiles; not all have been caught in the act - YET! Will your child be next? Has your child already been targeted? Don't be so sure. I used to be a catholic; then I got the shock of my life. I converted the entire family to Episcopalian. I feel a lot better knowing that married priests aren't abusing my children!

    July 19, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Stand up, and fight against papacy!!!

      The pope is the worst criminal on earth.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • bobby

      No, not all priests are pedophiles. the problem is most not reporting the incidences, which makes them just as guilty as tho they had done the act themselves.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • trevbo

      Please tell me this is an exagerated aguement- Sadly, married and unmarried men commit crimes against kids every day. Celibacy has nothing to do with this. Over the past serveral years we've even seen a large number of women in public schools going after their students.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  4. GvilleT

    It's all the dogma of this religion that is running it down. Priests and the Catholic leaders should not be celebate. It's going AGAINST God and how he created man. It's nature, they have urges, they're told it's wrong, so they hide it and a young childs life is ruined forever. I blame the entire Catholic religion and their idiotic ideas on all of this.

    I would love to know how many of these sick priests...or whatever you want to call them (I have a few choice words) were abused themselves as young alter boys or attending Catholic schools.

    It's just all one giant snowball that is out of control and the Catholic church's effort to hide it has only made it worse, has enabled it to continue and has harmed so many more. They've know about this for so long, yet they used their control and power to cover it up and handle it on their own. That is a whole other "wrong" in itself. It's all about power, control and greed. The biggest problem is their trying to do all this in the name of God. I'm not sure what Bible they use...it's not the same as mine apparantly. Enough is enough, examples need to be set, these abusers all need to rot in jail, justice needs to prevail and the Church (any church) doesn't need to have a giant curatin of protection for these criminals.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Luther once said: "Lie is like a snowball: the longer you roll it, the bigger it becomes."

      Celibacy is the reason for child abuse, that is clear, but the pope cannot abolish celibacy, because that would mean committing suicide for him and the Vatican.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Floyd

      Your anger, as well as mine being a Catholic is well justified. We are furious over this but our faith will not waiver. The faith in of itself is separate from the criminals themselves that took advantage of their authority and positions of trust. However, this problem exists throughout society and if our guards are let down denying this and only believing priests are capable of this it endangers more children. Thus, the celibacy thought is not the right argument or the right assumption to make in order to rid society of this horrific problem. Teachers, coaches, Rabbis Imams, parents, older siblings, uncles, scout leaders, neighbors, babysitters, police, guidance counselors, camp leaders (that’s the one that got me), politicians, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists etc etc etc have all been implicated, charged and convicted of these types of crimes and yes, there are people that knew these perverts as well and covered it up too. Sadly, this is a whole global industry in of itself and it is getting worse. We need a better fight to rid society of this evil. It should, and is finally starting with exposing them, jailing them and their accomplices. Diligence, vigilance, tougher laws and penalties are needed to be certain.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • GvilleT

      But....all those people you mentioned don't have this huge powerful curtain to hide behind. Yes, it happens elsewhere, but it would happen less in the Catholic Church if the leaders were allowed to live a normal life without losing their job. That is a fact!!! Those other wrongs don't justify the wrongs I'm speaking of.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • William Demuth

      It is the dogma of ALL religions that justify abominations.

      Think for yourselves or you are just as guilty.

      Deviants use believers.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  5. skarrlette

    What the hell is the problem with these perverts I have never seen such a disgusting scandal in my life and worst is the heads of the church moving these perverts around instead of getting rid of them. My respect for the Catholic church is gone. These people are pedophiles and they hide behind a robe. DISGUSTING! And anyone who continues to fund these perverts is an accomplish!

    July 19, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • skarrlette


      July 19, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  6. Rainer Braendlein

    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 11:02 am |
    • Floyd

      Wow, you are really out there.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  7. David, CA

    "The Vatican cited Rigali's age as the reason."

    They can't even be honest with the small stuff let alone the stuff that destroys the lives of children.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Ditters

      All Bishops submit a letter of resignation at the age of 75. This man is 76. The reason is age. It happens like this for every bishop.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Brendan, Philadelphia, Pa

      All bishops submit the resignation letter at 75. It's not usually exercised so soon. Rigali did not expect it to be exercised this early. It is a direct result of his failure around the scandal.

      Krol was in terrible health and still served until he was 77. Bevilacqua served until he was 80.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Andrew

      Brendan, it is not uncommon for the resignation to be accepted this quickly. In my diocese of Trenton, the Vatican named our bishop's successor almost immediately and installed him as coadjutor for several months so he could take over quickly once the resignation was accepted. As far as I know, we aren't in a huge scandal over here. Perhaps the previous two archbishops stayed longer because there was noone to replace them, or maybe it was the style of previous popes to move slowly and our current pope likes to move fast. Chaput is an up and comer, I'm sure that they've been looking to give him a cardinalatial see for some time and this gives them the opportunity.

      The simplest explanation is usually the correct one, and conspiracy theories are almost always wrong.

      July 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm |

    He was just protecting the good old boys.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  9. mervel

    The problem is the idea that the Church has any authority in this matter. The Catholic Church is a voluntary organization, people choose to attend or not and voluntarily give, the Church is not the police, they are not "investigators" they are simply a Church. A Bishop is not responsible for the crimes of his employees unless he actively covers the crimes up and in some cases they did do that and should be held responsible. But priests molest at lower rates than teachers for example, do principles who do not investigate accusations against teachers getting the same scrutiny?

    July 19, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Capercorn

      Well, anti-Catholicism is the last fashionable form of bigotry in the Western World. But is anyone shocked about this? Catholics shouldn't, as this was all foretold in the Third Secret of Fatima. The Blessed Virgin warned us [also warned us about WWII], but we failed to listen. Pope Benedict XVI has acknowledged as such.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • M.

      Capercorn: When a group of people does something absolutely horrific, do you really think that pointing it out and being outraged is a form of bigotry? Oh, yes, poor Catholics, how dare people be upset about such a little piddly thing like child abuse.

      Also, no, Fatima did not foretell WWII, or anything else. Search "skeptoid fatima" on Google, and read for yourself.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Floyd

      @M. – Capercorn has a very valid point. Catholics are appalled too and want justice for all and a clean-up of all in our own backyard. This is the domain of the police too. No different than a school teacher that has been moved around and yes, that happens too. The church hierarchy is not the only authority that has had its head in the sand. Believing otherwise is dangerous for all kids. The assaults aside, our faith is being assaulted daily and yes, I have been at the brunt of the bigotry so it does exist. Stop the child abuse, but also stop the hate. It makes it worse. The crimes are separate from the faith itself. We are hurting and we are being kicked when we are down but some want us down and out. That is Anti-Catholicism, and that is bigotry.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  10. krow101

    Mythologies are just awful.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  11. Dan

    Rainer Braendle,

    Hör doch mal auf! Die Reformation is vor Jahrhunderten aus! Du machst dich zum Narren!

    July 19, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  12. TOM

    Its isn't just happening in the Catholic Church! It happens in all religion but maybe not to the same extent! SO MUCH FOR RELIGION!

    July 19, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Dan

      That's it, Tom, get out the wide brush and be sure to cover everyone. This is about the failure of the heirarchy of the RCC, not about every human being who believes in God.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • bobby

      NO, there are many incidences of child molestation involving other churches. The difference is that the Catholic Church's abuse of the children is much more knowledgeable. But none-the-less, all churches have pedophiles in them.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Daddy2010

      Dan, this is about the failure of man. It happens outside the church. It is just as sick and wrong when it happens outside the church. It receives more attention when it's the church due to the size and visibility of the church. But it happens everywhere and the other incidents should not be ignored by those who find great satisfaction in attacking one religion. All crimes against children should be punished, whether it is in church, school, home, etc.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  13. Diane

    I am going to offer my two cents on the celibacy for Catholics priests debate. Pedophiles are pedophiles. They don't become that way because they are celibate. They are drawn to being priests in the Catholic church because not only do that have access to children, the children's parents have 100% faith in them because they are priests. You then have an epidemic of pedophiles in the church and they help cover for each other. HOWEVER, I do think that the Catholic church should allow their priests to marry. That isn't going to change the fact that pedophiles are drawn to the church, but it will draw more normal (non-pedophiles) to the church. If someone wanted to be a priest, I imagine a life of celibacy, especially if you are already in love with someone, would be a difficult life to live. If we have more men in the priesthood who are not sick pedophiles, the church might not have so many scandals. I also want to point out that all the anger towards the Catholic church isn't just because there are pedophiles in the church abusing children, but because so many priests, bishops, archbishops and even the pope have continued to cover up the accusations and allow the abusers to hurt more children. They didn't turn these sickos over to the authorities to face punishment, and they don't seem that apologetic to the victims. So stop quoting statistics about how there are pedophiles everywhere. I don’t know of any protection and cover up of pedophiles this grand and widespread in history.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Rich

      I think it's pretty well established that people will seek to meet their needs through whatever is available. Just look at the abuse that is rampant in the prisons of America. Men, who would normally never think of having relations with another man do so regularly when they know it is their only option for a long time to come. This puts some serious doubt on your argument, as children may often be simply a priest's best chance for any kind of physical relationship. I do not excuse their actions, but I think your argument that celibacy plays no significant role is highly questionable.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Brendan, Philadelphia, Pa

      The celibacy requirement of the priesthood allows for pedophiles to refrain from adult romantic relationships without anyone calling into question why that may be. Access is certainly part of it, but it's also a convenient hiding place.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Diane

      Rich, that is a good point with the men in prison. However, I just can't see a holy man allowing himself to do that to children unless he was already seriously sick to begin with. I don't think attraction to children is something that happens from being around them all the time and seeing how vulnerable they are. One flaw I see in your argument is that men in prison have no options but other men. Priests could have relations with women, but they aren't supposed to. If celibacy is that difficult to bare, then they will have relations with someone they were attracted to. If they were worried about getting caught, I could see sleeping with a woman more forgivable than abusing the congregations' children. Whatever the answer is, I still agree with priests being allowed to marry. We will have to recognize, though, that there will still be pedophiles in the church no matter what and not to give them access to children without question just because they are priests.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Georges

      Brendan from Philadelphia, as you say "to refrain from adult romantic relationships without anyone calling into question why that may be." do you mean to say that everyone who is single is scrutinized as to why they are single?

      July 19, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • YBP

      The point I would make is that these priests aren't really pedophiles at all. They are closeted gay men who have found a home in the Church. This isn't new. Have you seen the paintings and sculptures in the church for the past 500 years? More often than not, the "boys" they go after are old enough and mature enough to engage and participate in the activity. I suspect that many of them are willing as well, but that's another argument altogether. My point is that they aren't prepubescent boys. They are just underaged young men. The priesthood is simply a closet with a two-way mirror on its door. If you look at it closely, you can see right through it. Spend a few minutes in a room full of priests, and you will know. What will you hear? Catty reviews of the latest Broadway shows, and quotes from the Wizard of Oz. I am speaking from experience, mind you.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • William Demuth


      Six and seven year olds are underage men?

      If it was simply gay behavior, they would be doing each other.

      They wants POWER. It gets them high, and gets little boys buggered.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • News Flash

      "they know it is their only option" How it this their only option ?

      July 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Brendan, Philadelphia, Pa

      Georges, in reply to your question, "do you mean to say that everyone who is single is scrutinized as to why they are single?"

      Yes, I do think (right or wrong) when someone remains single past the time that most people have paired up with someone, there is a level of scrutiny as to why. If someone can simply say, "well, I'm a priest", it provides a simple explanation.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Diane

      I was wondering when the hom-ophobes were going to come out. Being attracted to children is a sickness. Being gay is not. They two are completely different and have nothing to do with one another. I guess it is possible that you can be gay and a pedophile, but being gay does not make you a pedophile. Many pedophiles abuse both boys and girls. They are just looking for helpless, vulnerable victims that they can have control over and abuse. Stop using this tragedy as a way to spread lies and hate about gay people.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  14. Rich

    Frankly, why is this even news anymore? We all know about it, none of the cases are new ones. Isn't there some kind of point where you let go of your outrage and move on? It's not healthy to stay in a state of permanent anger over anything, especially when no good is to come of it. The Catholic Church has been raked over the coals quite thoroughly for years now, whatever is to come of it already has. BTW I am not Catholic, in fact I am quite anti-religion in my views. But at some point people who aren't even victims or know those victims personally need to let go, move on.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Diane

      No, I don't think it is time to just get over it and move on. The church continues to cover up these incidents and doesn't want to turn over their records to the authorities. They don't want the pedophiles punished. I have no reason to think that it's ended. I think it is very likely that this abuse is still going on. If the church took real steps to keep the abuse from happening and seemed committed to turning over reported abuser to the authorities, then I would say stop condemning the church for the acts of some sick pedophiles.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • skarrlette

      They haven't be raked over the coals enough. THEY ARE HAVING S WITH BOYS, its been going on for decades. Its time the church came down period.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Georges

      The news is about a new archbishop being named to head the Philadelphia archdiocese. It is almost a milion and a half of Catholics who are affected by that change. not to mention the significant influence the archdiocese has on such social services as: health care, food for the needy, housing, and education. The abominable crimes of some has not changed the profound services the Church continues to provides to the community.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Rich

      Diane, what are "real steps"?

      skarrlette, do you really think the Catholic Church – something older than most nations – is going to just "go away"? There is simply no chance of that happening and your anger is a wasted emotion that serves only to dampen your day and drive up your blood pressure.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • skarrlette

      Guess what hardly anyone goes to Church today. Young people don't go including me and all my friends and anyone else I meet. Do you know how much participation has dropped over the last decades?. Believe me in a hundred years NO ONE will be going.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Rich

      skarlette: while I surely support your desire for less religion in our society (at least until the point they stop affecting the laws we all are required to live by, after that, worship as you please), your immaturity shows greatly in your posts on this forum. I only wish I could show you these posts in ten years and see the head shaking you'd do in response. One day, you'll learn that less aggression and more thought in one's words makes them more effective and more readily accepted by their audience.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • William Demuth


      Some abominations cry out for justice, yet you condemn those who seek it?

      Children have killed themselves, turned to drugs, and even had complete mental meltdown, and THE BEHAVIOR IS CONTINUING.

      Your complacency is perceived by many as complicity. This organization should be charged under "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act" and its leaders imprisoned.

      Demanding justice has is not immature, and never shall be.

      Throw the protectors in prison and hang the deviants!

      July 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Diane

      Rich, Real steps would be to turn over the pedophiles to the authorities and not protect them, moving them from parish to parish to abuse again and again. They say they will report the abuse to the authorities in the future, but they continue to try and cover up what has happened. They have records of who knows how many pedophile priests in the church, but they don’t want to turn those over to the authorities for investigation. They say the church policy now is to report abuse in the future, but if they won't do it now, why should we believe they will do it in the future? They still seem more concerned with preventing these scandals from becoming public than protecting victims – past, present, and future.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  15. News Flash

    Not to worry. Rigali will end up with his red hat, sipping wine on the Via Veneto with his buddy Cardinal Law, and a cushy job in Rome. It's a good retirement plan.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  16. SoundOfForest

    The Church is doing the right thing to do.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • skarrlette

      Your Gross!

      July 19, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  17. LouAz

    And it goes on and on and on . . . and no catholic layperson says anything, unless they are the victim. Silence is CONSENT !

    July 19, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  18. bobincr

    Why is this molestation problem with priests so pandemic in the Roman Catholic Church? Is it in their "holy" water. Someone needs to find out why these Roman priests molest little boys.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • sbp

      Because it's hard to attract men to an occupation that demands celibacy. That narrows the candidates down to men who don't mind a pretense of being celibate (but more or less excludes men who wouldn't mind professing celibacy if they could have affairs with adults – too much chance of being exposed). Add to that a very centralized and hierarchical governing body that is seeing its ranks diminish and feels the need to protect at all costs its member, and you have an occupation that is attractive to pedophiles.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Diane

      sbp, Well-said. My thoughts exactly.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • TheyNotHim

      A note on "holy" water...the last time I visited the National Cathedral, the little basin with "holy" water in it up front of the building was the nastiest, dirtiest, foulest basin of water I have ever seen. Apparently you are supposed to dip your fingers in it then cross yourself or whatever the dogma is? Well, no thanks! The filth in that place is just all over, is all Im saying...

      July 19, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Ed


      Why is this molestation problem with priests so pandemic in the Roman Catholic Church? Is it in their "holy" water. Someone needs to find out why these Roman priests molest little boys.

      Actually the problem has appeared in several other churches both christian and other faiths. The catholics just get more press because it sells more papers.

      Not that its not deserved had they dealt withe pobelm better it would have prevented a lot of the bad press

      July 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  19. BobZemko

    What about JAIL time?

    July 19, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • William Demuth

      Yeah right!

      Political patronage lets them get away with destroying childrens lives.

      What a national disgrace. Neither party has spoken out. We are once again betrayed for money.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  20. boilitdown

    Look, it's as simple as this – The few priests that use their power, status and position to molest children have for decades been systematically protected by the bishops and cardinals and who know high up. That doesn't just make the molestors sick monsters, it's indicative of an incredibly corrupt system that cares more for the priests than the most innocent of the people they are supposedly here to serve and nurture. The church has decided to protect child molesters versus the children and for that they should all be ashamed of themselves. WWJD indeed.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Diane

      So true and so sad.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:59 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.