October 23, 2005

Priests still grieve over abuse report

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Emilie Lounsberry
Inquirer Staff Writer

Late at night, in the quiet of their rectories, they read the blistering grand jury report, taking stock of the horrifying accounts of abuse and the number of priests they knew: spiritual advisers, seminary classmates, fellow clergy.

"It was nauseating. I was in shock," recalled the Rev. Frederick Riegler, pastor of St. Isidore's Church in Quakertown, Bucks County.

The Rev. Robert A. McLaughlin, pastor at St. Basil the Great in Kimberton, Chester County, said he spent two or three nights "using up every hankie in the building."

One was his spiritual director; another his confessor. Six were seminary classmates. In all, he figured he knew more than half of the 63 priests identified in the report. "It just tears your heart out," said McLaughlin.

Across the region, such visceral feelings have uncharacteristically spilled out publicly in the month since the release of the grand jury report that documented sex abuse by priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at October 23, 2005 08:29 AM