October 04, 2005

Scholarship is renamed to break its link to priest

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jim Remsen
Inquirer Faith Life Editor

The Rev. Francis A. Giliberti was one of their benefactors. And, unbeknown to them, he was also a child molester.

In a postscript to the Philadelphia grand jury report on Catholic priest abuse, West Catholic High School officials have renamed the school's $100,000 Giliberti scholarship fund to distance it from the school's onetime chaplain, who was one of 63 priests identified as perpetrators in the report.

Brother Tim Ahern, the school's principal, said he told the 68-year-old priest last week that the name of the Giliberti Fund had become a problem. Giliberti - who lives under supervision in a church retirement home - agreed, but noted that he had endowed the money in his father's memory.

So the fund has been recast as the Michael and Anna Giliberti Scholarship Fund, in his parents' names. The school, which administers the fund, will still award scholarships from it to needy students - but no longer in the priest's name, which Ahern said would be "inappropriate" because of the credible abuse allegations.

Posted by kshaw at October 4, 2005 08:35 AM