April 22, 2005

John Grogan | Even the faithful chastise cardinal

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John Grogan
Inquirer Columnist

Dear Cardinal Rigali:

Me again. I don't mean to be a pest, but I thought you would want to know what Catholics across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are saying about your decision to concelebrate a requiem Mass in Rome last week with the disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law.

As I wrote to you Tuesday, you were the only one of the 11 American cardinals to attend the Mass, even knowing what you know - that in 2002 Law was forced to resign as archbishop of Boston after it was revealed he had repeatedly shuffled known sexual predators of children among parishes in secret where they were again put in contact with unsuspecting children.

I have heard from a lot of Catholics since then. Some were of the fallen-away variety, some of the cafeteria variety, others bitter and estranged. But mostly I heard from devout, practicing Catholics who have not given up on their church, even as many voiced deep discouragement and anger at the men leading it.

Anger at the late Pope John Paul II for not banishing Law to a remote monastery but rather handing him a plum Vatican post; at the Vatican for allowing this symbol of everything nefarious in the church's handling of the child-abuse scandal the honor of saying a high-profile Mass; and, not least, at you for standing beside him.

Posted by kshaw at April 22, 2005 05:28 AM