Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic Community Marks Holy Thursday Amid Backdrop of Sexual Abuse Scandal

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Catholic Church in Philadelphia began marking the holiest week on the Christian calendar on Thursday, under the cloud of the priest sexual abuse scandal. 

“Today we celebrate Holy Thursday…”

At a Mass at which Archdiocesan priests renewed their commitment to serve, Cardinal Justin Rigali, in his homily, pointed out that this year, the celebration is under difficult circumstances.

“With reference to the sexual abuse of minors, we are all experiencing pain for victims of such abuse, as well as for those brother priests who are so deeply affected by the situation.”   

Four current or former priests, and a former teacher, are criminally charged with abusing children. Twenty-nine priests are under suspension while the archdiocese investigates other accusations.

Rigali asked the people of the archdiocese to pray for their priests, even in times of difficulty.

Watch Oren’s Report …

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio; Oren Liebermann, CBS 3

  • Patrick O

    Rigali is a disgrace.

    Cardinal Rigali said there were “no credibly accused priests” in the Philadelphia church back in February of 2011, and a week later the Grand Jury report came out with horrifying facts about dozens of priests committing child rape. THEN Rigali removed the priests.

    Isn’t that child endangerment, and can’t it be prosecuted?

    Doesn’t the Catholic congregation realize that this Catholic church doesn’t practice Catholicism?

    At what point do they do the right thing, storm into Rigali’s office, drag him down to the police station, and make the DA prosecute him. At what point do they show their children that they know how to do the right thing?

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  • Stevo

    Yes it is reasonable to pray for the priests. All men are flawed. This is known by all and priests are after all just men. As Catholics we pray for all who suffer. Not just the victims. We also pray for those who undermine the good works of the church. I am Sure that the Cardinal spoke of many things in the Holy Thursday Mass many of which would have paid tribute to the day and to the week. It is sad to me that we can not pay attention to the Holy Week itself and it’s meaning to the area residents. This you won’t see though, at least not in the bold print.

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  • Linda Aspen

    There are still many good priests and yes we need to pray for them becasue unfortunatley the leaters of the Church have hung them out to take the brunt of the parishioners anger and fruxtration.

  • concerned for the VICTIMS!

    Yes – Pray for the priests, they need it more than the victims. How disgusting. Why do people keep believing this BS?

    • Patrick O

      Amen. Catholics are so lost.

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