Philadelphia Archdiocese Priests Vent Frustrations With Cardinal Justin Rigali

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Priests who have spoken with Eyewitness News are increasingly frustrated with the way they say the church hierarchy is dealing with the child sex abuse scandal.

Today, priests got an opportunity to vent their frustrations and speak directly with Cardinal Justin Rigali.

Dozens of priests poured into the gym at the Saint Anastasia Catholic School in Newtown Square, Delaware County.

They met for about two hours with Cardinal Rigali and other church leaders.

This comes just one day after four current and former priests along with a lay teacher where in court for the first time in connection to sexual assault and child endangerment charges.

Last week the archdioceses announced 21 priests were suspended in the wake of another scathing Grand Jury report.

A source tells Eyewitness News priests at today’s meeting believe church leaders have not done enough to publicly stay out in front of the scandal by showing support for the work of good priests.

Cardinal Rigali did not speak to the media after today’s meeting, and his driver left going the wrong way out of the parking lot in the opposite direction of our camera.

Sources tell Eyewitness News this meeting was the second of three planned meetings this week between the Cardinal and priests.

The first meeting we’re told overall was characterized as being positive.

Reported by Todd Quinones, CBS 3

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  • Patrick O’Malley

    The priest who speak up loudly are wise, since they may carry on as bishops and popes in the Catholic Church.

    For some reason that baffles me, Catholics don’t seem to understand that priests raped children, and all of the bishops and cardinals agreed that the best policy was to silence the child.

    Really? Silence a 12 year old child that one of your employee’s raped? Is that what Jesus would do?

    At some point, Catholics will call for the removal of all of them, and ask for a completely new set of priests, and ask for ones who spoke up against child rape.

    Of course, there may not be any church members left by then, as most may move on to other religions where rape isn’t ignored, and their children are treated better.

    • Stevo

      In any community, Catholic or otherwise, there will always be those who break the law. The people who do these things and who condone them are a vast minority in the Church. They are an outrage in our eyes. However, everyone should keep in mind that the Catholic Church is doubtless the worlds foremost champion of children and the poor. Take abortion for instance. The Church campaigns constantly for children not yet born and then puts forward unceasing efforts to properly educate children both morally and academically. Beleive me, the Catholics do get it. We also get it in the mass media for our efforts. At any rate the Church is not founded on flawed human beings. The faithful know this and do not pray to the priests. We pray to the Lord. The vast majority of us will be there for Mass Sunday. I for one will be bringing my children.

  • anon

    Showing support for the good priests? How about the victims? Way to play the victim priests… I’m sure your god is proud.

  • hassen ben sober

    I love the fact that known child molesters meet at a school. SMART.

    • Bill

      PROVE that they are.


    All Assembly And Senate Members: 03/15/11
    Trenton, New Jersey

    Senate Bill# S2405
    Assembly Bill# A3622

    The horrendous crime of Sexual Assault to a minor, is extremely real in our state of New Jersey. Over the last several years many advocates and supporters have come forward to address the injustice and constitutionality about laws that crime victims have had to unfairly face in New Jersey.
    The criminal law statute for sexual assault was changed in 1995. There is no criminal statute now and rightfully so, in New Jersey, for a victim from sexual assault, to file a criminal claim.
    However, just a few legislative sessions ago, Our New Jersey Government did away with another barrier sex crime victims have had in filing and prosecuting criminals that rape children. This was the amendment to a charity shield, called charitable immunity law, in New Jersey.
    This charity law was a bar for many claimants. However, a civil law statute expired for filing civil complaints, while waiting for that charity immunity law to be amended, like it was. With much angst to the fact that there has been no remedy in the ability to prosecute and punish certain known offenders within the Camden Diocese,
    I am a child sex crime victim that still has no legal representation in New Jersey, due to this statute in civil law under review. Attorneys wont file criminal complaints for me, because a civil complaints bar is still pending this legislation..
    To mention that the sex offenders that are not registered with the state, are also not removed from positions that endanger children. Also, there currently is still the inability to punish, rehabilitate or incarcerate these criminals, that statistically re-offend across the boarder. In addition, there is no legal authority to govern and/or enforce any civility over these criminals and institutions that have protected them.
    Please Help.
    These reported upon known offenders will be prosecuted and punished when the bars that have protected them, removed.
    While New Jersey has always been on the forefront for Child protection and advocacy, Our great state’s laws are missing a large target of criminals, that we as a governing body have the ability to resolve and amend these discrepancies, with this legislation.
    This is all so in the effort that our justice system and the agents available within it, are able to perform the civil service that sex crime victims should other wise expect from them and be entitled too.
    Thank you for voting this bill to the Budget and Appropriations Committee, a vote 9-0. If you have not voted for this bill yet or signed on to Co-Spenser, please join in. And when the bill comes to the Assembly and the Senate again, for the final vote, I hope you will have extended this invitation to colleges for voting in favor of this urgent and needed amendment to
    New Jersey Sex Crime Laws.

    Thank you,

  • A.j. Baselice

    They are frustrated ? What about the VICTIMS ? The VICTIMS suffer in silence as ‘rigali’ and his lobbying group block legislation in Harrisburg, I have no sympathy for the ‘rcc’ or the priests! What are these meetings , pep rallies or strategy sessions that plan on how to reassure the faithful that it is safe to go back into the water ? rigali should be meeting with the legislator’s in Harrisburg insisting that a two year window be opened and removing the statue of limitations, that is rigali’s only option to prove his sincerity !

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