October 09, 2005

Tom Ferrick Jr. | Real reparation must dig deeper

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Tom Ferrick Jr.
Inquirer Columnist

The cardinal is sorry. Only this time he is really, really sorry.

Thus reads the new missive from Cardinal Justin Rigali to Roman Catholic faithful about the priest sex-abuse scandal in Philadelphia.

Writing from Rome, where he is attending a Vatican synod, the cardinal issued his second pastoral letter in recent weeks on the topic. The new letter has a more contrite tone than his first one, issued the day a Philadelphia grand jury presented its report on the abuse scandal.

In the first letter, Rigali apologized to the victims while rejecting the grand jury's finding that there was a cover-up by the archdiocese. At the same time, archdiocesan lawyers lambasted the report as vile, biased and anti-Catholic.

That good-cop/bad-cop routine offended most Catholics, who let their parish priests and church officials know it.

Hence, this new letter from Rigali, dated Oct. 4, which turns up the contrition dial considerably.

Posted by kshaw at October 9, 2005 08:47 AM