Cardinal Justin Rigali To Retire, Vatican Could Name Successor Tomorrow

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – All eyes will be on the Vatican early tomorrow morning, as reports in Catholic media — and now in the Philadelphia Daily News — say Cardinal Justin Rigali will step down as Philadelphia’s archbishop.

The reports suggest the Vatican announcement could come tomorrow (see related story), and follows the priest sex abuse scandal in the archdiocese.

KYW Newsradio‘s Mark Abrams looks back on the career of the man who has led the 1.5-million Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for the past eight years.

Cardinal Justin Rigali came to Philadelphia from a posting in St. Louis in 2003.  He was named the 12th bishop and eighth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Pope John Paul II, who also made him a cardinal.

Rigali, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, spent the majority of his priesthood as a Vatican insider. He worked in a variety of roles for three popes in the Holy See for some 33 years before being named the archbishop of St. Louis in 1994.

When Rigali came to Philadelphia, a secretly-convened grand jury was already in the process of investigating clergy sex abuse and the findings presented in 2005 were exhaustive.

Rigali put several reforms into place after the grand jury’s findings were released, hired an advocate for victims, and pledged to pastorally deal with the crisis.

But a second grand jury report, issued a few months ago, cited Rigali for failing to heed the recommendations of the first panel and pointed out several shortcomings in the process of dealing with victims, lawyers and priest offenders.

Rigali suspended 21 priests accused of sexual misconduct shortly after the second grand jury report. He also hired a former sex abuse prosecutor in the Philadelphia DA’s office to handle investigations of clergy abuse cases.

Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060

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One Comment

  1. Patrick O says:

    Rigali was a disgrace to God, and was typical of the dishonest, pedophile protecting bishops that run the Catholic church today.

    Rigali’s signature moment was worse than portrayed. In February of 2011, he said there were “no priests credibly accused of abusing minors” in ministry, then suspended 21 after the truth came out in a Grand Jury report.

    He lied to their face about the safety of their children, because he assumed they wouldn’t find out. He is symbolic of the lack of concern the Catholic church has about keeping their pedophile priests away from children.

    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.

  2. PM says:

    Justin Cardinal Rigali has served the Church and the Archdiocese very well. He is a kind and humble servant. He deserves to be praised for his leadership and thanked by the millions that benefit from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and all his former good works.

    1. Patrick O says:

      Really? Did you read the Grand Jury report? Did you hear Rigali tell his congregation that their children were no credibly accused priests in ministry, then suspend 21 of them when the Grand Jury report came out?

      Did you actually mean to say “other than covering up child rape, he did pretty well”. That’s like saying OJ Simpson was a great guy except for a couple of murders and a robbery. And OJ never raped a child.

      Rigali should be imprisoned.

  3. Tom says:

    Great name of his replacement Chaput! How appropriate! As the Catholic Church goes KAPUT! LOL

  4. Todd McDonald says:

    caps, you should go to jail too. you need some of that prison lovin’.

  5. caps says:

    he should go to jail for hiding what he could have stopped !

Comments are closed.

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