I received some important clarification today from The Archdiocesan Office of Communication. Of course, it’s not the information we are all seeking. But it’s something.
All 23 priests placed on administrative leave have been painted with the same brush. The accusations could range from boundary issues to sexual abuse. That’s a broad range of behavior. While all accusations should be investigated, I don’t think priests should be referred to as alleged pedophiles by the press unless accusations include sexual abuse. Of course we don’t know specific accusations because the Archdiocese won’t release them. I will be going on FOX 29 Good Day this Monday morning at 8:15 to discuss this.
All of the accusations have been deemed credible enough to warrant further independent investigation by Gina Smith, the former D.A. hired by the Archdiocese. If she finds evidence of criminal behavior, those cases will be forwarded to the Philadelphia D.A.’s office. It is possible that some priests will be cleared and returned to their prior status.
Through previous mishandling of allegations, the Philadelphia Archdiocese has created an atmosphere of fear and mistrust that is destroying faith and lives on all sides of the scandal.