Cardinal Rigali accepts Inquirer's apology for headline story


Cardinal Justin Rigali accepted an apology Friday from The Philadelphia Inquirer for a misleading story and false headline, which ran on the front page of the newspaper that same day.

The newspaper’s editor, Amanda Bennett, issued a statement by mid-morning, saying that the article on Cardinal Rigali’s "views of the grand jury report on sexual abuse by priests incorrectly summarized his statements."

The article was topped with the headline "Don't read report, Rigali says". But Bennett admitted that the archbishop of Philadelphia did not say citizens should not read the report, only that the report was "slanted" and "graphic."

"I appreciate the forthright manner in which the Inquirer handled this matter," the cardinal said in a written statement. "I accept their apology and reiterate the fact that I never said that Catholics should not read the report. I only said that it was not of value for families.

"I also take this opportunity to reiterate my heartfelt and sincere apologies to the victims of clergy sexual abuse and my continued prayers for healing," he said.

Cardinal Rigali was interviewed Wednesday in response to District Attorney Lynne Abraham’s grand jury report, which accuses past leaders of the archdiocese of covering up years of sexual abuse by priests.

The day the 418-page report was issued, the cardinal held a news conference to challenge its findings. He has prepared a letter discussing the grand jury report that will be in all Philadelphia parishes on Sunday.

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