Local Catholics Demand Changes In The Church

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Protesters surrounded the entrance to Basilica’s Saint Peters and Paul Sunday demanding the change they say the church is lacking.

“Let’s not risk one more day of one more child being hurt the way we were,” said one protester.

The protesters say they are upset, but not surprised, that three priests, Edward Avery, Charles Engelhardt and James Brennan, as well as a teacher, Bernard Shero, were charged with sexually assaulting and raping two young boys over a period of several years.

Monsignor William Lynn was charged with exposing children to danger and allowing the assaults to continue. Protesters say the church has done nothing.

“The only thing that changed is that they’ve gotten more subtle about hiding these priests. They’re still doing it. They’re still hiding in the same way they always did,” said one activist.

In a YouTube statement, Cardinal Justin Rigali promised reform in the church and protection for its children.

“We vigorously commit ourselves anew to do everything possible for the protection of all children and for the prevention of any abuse in the future,” said Cardinal Rigali.

But the grand jury report found reform lacking. It says:

“We would have assumed, by the year 2011, after all the revelations both here and around the world, that the church would not risk its youth by leaving them in the presence of priests subject to substantial evidence of abuse. That is not the case.

In fact, we discovered that there have been at least 37 such priests who have been kept in assignments that expose them to children. Ten of these priests have been in place since before 2005 – over six years ago. We understand that accusations are not proof; but we just cannot understand the Archdiocese’s apparent absence of any sense of urgency.”

Cardinal Rigali responded in a letter to the 267 parishes, saying, “I assure all the faithful that there are no archdiocesan priests in ministry today who have an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them.

The three priests and the teacher face up to 67 years if they are convicted. The monsignor faces up to 14 years if convicted.

Watch the video…

Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3

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  • Lisa

    It is sad that the bad priests give all the good priest a bad name. Even the priests I’ve loved through my life that I feel were holy men of God, I now find myself wondering if they ever abused anyone. I can honestly say that due to this rampant problem and the Church’s reluctance and slow reaction to bring justice, I could not allow my child to be raised in the Catholic church. How can you know which priests is a pedophile and which is not? Rather than take that risk, I will go elsewhere.

  • junior

    Or what?

    • Angelo

      Just watch

  • Jed

    This is about accountability and transparency.

    How would the Eucharist be harmed in a reformed Roman Catholic Church? How would your communion with God and the saints be harmed if the congregations could hire and fire their clergy, instead of having a bishop choose for you? How would the sacraments be harmed if clergy were allowed to marry?

    It is our high calling to demand reforms in the institutions that affect us. This requires courage to challenge long-standing traditions, harmful traditions.

    • Eric

      Reformation was attempted in 1517, and at the time it was an attempt to return to Orthodox Holy Tradition. Instead, it has yielded incredible division.

      Certain people did awful, criminal things… priests who abused their position, and bishops who, if they had knowledge or suspicion of wrongdoing, failed to act. This isn’t a structural problem. It’s a problem called SIN, and introducing a congregational church polity will not resolve it. It WOULD, however, lead to migration from a theocratic (God-centered and God-led) to a democratic (people-centered and people-led) institution. Ask Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggert’s congregations how that worked out…

  • danrob

    The problem could be solved at a fast clip — bolt cutters.

  • David

    nice lead in CNN – you make it seem like Catholics are protesting their arrests when indeed it is entirely different – here I will give you a clue – Catholics protest abuse arrests should read Catholics protest Church policies

  • cykill45

    my children will NEVER be under the supervision of anyone in the church…EVER. Why do people still leave their children at the mercy of these waco’s. remember what i said next time you are going to drop your child off at sunday school.

    • David

      or daycare or public school or little league or any other place children congregate because that’s where the pedophiles will be you rere

      • jed

        No one is saying that pedophiles are exclusively found within the Catholic Church. Pedophiles are predators, predators are found near the prey. The important distinction is that no other organization (e.g., public schools, protestants,Jews, YMCA, boy scouts) have the institutional capability to shield pedophiles from justice as the Roman Catholic Church. The YMCA can’t change someone’s name, move them to a different state or country, bury the allegations, or buy off the accusers. The Catholic Church can, and has demonstrated track record for institutionalized conspiracy, only to offer window dressing for reform when their trangressions are by chance revealed.

        Catholics have a right and a duty to demand real reform of the Roman Catholic Church.

  • GMAN

    The Catholic Church is the biggest fraud ever!!!! Nothing will change until these pedophiles are put in jail!!

  • lovedogshatepeople

    What do you think the vatican and priesthood are? a place to study how to get closer to god? Foolish. It is a safe house for pedophiles, why do you think everytihng is so secret?

  • Sick of the coverup

    How many kids lives have these perverts destoyed? Yet they continue to be transferred and have a new batch of kids to pick their next victims from. In fact they probably welcome a transfer. This cover up goes all the way to the top. Not in Philadelphia, but in Rome. I’m just glad I was never chosen for the “honor” to be an altar boy at the catholic school I attended as a kid.

  • grumpy

    There should be NO statute of limitations for any crimes against children. The church has to step up to this issue and JOIN the prosecutors NOT cover up for the abusers!

    • binnette tutor

      I agree with you. This abomination ruins a child. It never heals- why should someone be immune years later when the victim is still bleeding?

  • Kevin R. Consolo

    The Cardinal is full of B.S. and should get charged if he can be. In St. John the Baptist in Manayunk we had a priest Fr. Dux in our parish who was transfered several times until he landed in out parish. While at St. John’s there were 2 allegations against him. the last one forced his retirement. Cardinal Rigali continued the same policy as Cardinal Krohl. Ignore it and transfer them. Time to crack down. The Collar doesn’t mean your ABove The Law!

  • Tired and not surprised

    Why try to change them. They are only part of an old out of touch organization. There are others more respectful, trustful, and deviant free organizations to join. BTW, I am Catholic and tired of the “words” and lack of responsible and honest action.

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