.- Priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia voiced their candid and honest opinions with Cardinal Justin Rigali last week about a grand jury’s findings of sexual abuse by 63 priests and the cardinal’s response to them. About 300 priests attended the meeting Tuesday at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
After prayer and remarks by the cardinal, about a dozen priests stepped up to a podium. The opinions were varied. Some supported the cardinal’s criticism of the grand jury findings and his defense of the role of the archdiocese in the scandal. Others were harsh and critical, reported The Delaware Times.
Some of the criticism at the meeting was aimed at Cardinal Rigali’s predecessors, Cardinals Anthony Bevilacqua and John Krol, who were accused by the grand jury of covering up reports of abuse.
The 418-page report is filled with graphic depictions of abuse by the priests, 24 of whom had ties to Delaware County.
“There was support for people who lashed out at the cardinals, but my feeling is we all have clay feet," Fr. J. Thomas Heron told the County Times. "Those cardinals need healing as much as I need healing, and the victims need healing."