Philadelphia, Pa., Mar 8, 2011 / 16:33 pm
Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has placed 21 priests in the archdiocese on administrative leave, following investigations into a grand jury report that there were credible abuse allegations against the clergy members.
“These have been difficult weeks” since the release of the report, Cardinal Rigali said in a March 8 statement. Difficult “most of all for victims of sexual abuse, but also for all Catholics and for everyone in our community.”
The grand jury report – issued on Feb. 10 – charged that there were 37 archdiocesan priests still in ministry who had credible allegations of abuse against them but were still in roles that brought them into contact with children.
The report also stated that Msgr. William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s secretary of clergy under previous Philadelphia archbishop Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, endangered the welfare of children by allowing “dangerous” priests to remain in positions with access to children.