October 07, 2005

Rigali takes a softer stance

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jim Remsen
Inquirer Faith Life Editor

In a marked shift in tone, Cardinal Justin Rigali issued a pastoral letter to Catholics yesterday that repeatedly and apologetically acknowledges that archdiocese officials had mishandled cases of clerical sex abuse of minors.

Two weeks ago, in his first pastoral response to the grand jury's Sept. 20 report on sex abuse by priests, Rigali had called the report "unjustifiably critical" of former Cardinals Anthony J. Bevilacqua and John Krol and their church administrators.

That initial stance, and a church lawyer's dismissal of the report as "anti-Catholic," had drawn scorn from many parishioners and even some priests.

Yesterday's letter mentioned "the sinful actions of some priests," but Rigali also noted that "many Catholics are offended by the actions taken or not taken by those in authority. And now, as an archdiocese we are all experiencing great pain."

Posted by kshaw at October 7, 2005 03:01 PM