Pope Benedict XVIurged the international community to assist Somalians and other Africans fleeing the drought- and famine-ridden Horn of Africa. The Sacramento Bee reports that the Pope “called it a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ that is ‘severely testing our brothers and sisters, among them many children.'”
A few of the priests were no longer in Philadelphia and some were no longer priests when Rigali (right) arrived. At first Rigali reacted by saying no Philadelphia priests in ministry had “an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them.” Under the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Dallas” Charter to Protect Children and Youth, approved in June 2002, bishops need not get admissions from the priests but are to to turn them over to the civil authorities for investigation.Rigali hired an outside investigator, a former prosecutor, to look into the charges against the priests.
With her report in hand on Mardi Gras Day, Rigali suspended 21 priests accused of sexual abuse. There was a scramble to find priests to say Ash Wednesday Mass. Not even in Boston had so many priests been suspended in one day. Later, his archdiocese’s lay board accused Rigali and his clerical administrative team of keeping many accusations from them. Each diocese must have a sexual accusations review lay board of experts. Rigali’s lack of muscular oversight, at best, not only upset Philadelphia Catholics but Catholics across the nation. Many bishops who do uphold the charter were said to be livid.
This just never ends.