October 27, 2005

Parishioners vent anger at clergy over abuse

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Emilie Lounsberry and Jim Remsen
Inquirer Staff Writers

Anger ran high at two extraordinary forums last night as dozens of Catholic parishioners denounced archdiocesan clergymen over disclosures of priest abuse and official cover-ups.

At St. Ignatius of Antioch in Yardley, parishioners expressed outrage, disappointment and dismay about the sex-abuse scandal, saying that church leaders, including their current pastor, had failed to protect children from abusive priests.

And in Plymouth Meeting, a succession of laypeople took the floor at a Voice of the Faithful speak-out to offer a host of demands and proposals: For Cardinal Justin Rigali to sell his mansion. For parish contributions to be suspended. For sex abusers and their church "enablers" to be excommunicated.

Kathleen Zawacki, a retired FBI agent, one of the more than 350 people who packed St. Ignatius' auditorium for a meeting called by Msgr. Samuel Shoemaker, asked: "How many children did you put in peril? How many children could you have protected?"

Posted by kshaw at October 27, 2005 09:16 AM