I wrote a letter to Cardinal Rigali on behalf of the many thousands who have visited and commented here. I respectfully shared your questions and concerns. The following is the response we received on his behalf from the office for communications. This wasn’t a media inquiry. This was a letter from the faithful seeking pastoral answers from our shepherd. We were seeking hope. We got a slap in our faith – not in God; but once again in our Church leadership. Like so many others, our group who according to the diocesan spokesperson “loves their children and their Church,” didn’t get our answers.
Heading into most important week of our spiritual lives, this was an opportunity to restore hope. Jesus hung on the cross for us and yet the Cardinal wouldn’t put his signature on a letter of answers. The way this has been handled shows a fundamental lack of respect for Philadelphia Catholics. It presumes we will settle for below the bare minimum. We won’t.
The Letter On Behalf of the Cardinal:
I write to you on behalf of Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, to acknowledge your recent correspondence containing questions regarding Archdiocesan initiatives to protect children in light of the Grand Jury report issued in February 2011. Its release and the resulting actions by the Archdiocese have generated a broad range of reactions and emotions.
We are cognizant of the fact that emotions have been compounded by the limited amount of information available. While the Archdiocese is not able to answer every question from every concerned individual, it is committed to providing as much information as possible to the faithful through a systematic network. In light of this commitment, the Archdiocese recently released the first in a series of periodic parish bulletin inserts designed to provide information to parishioners. A copy is attached. I realize that it does not answer all the questions you posed, but your remaining questions, along with those of other parishioners, will be considered as possible topics for future inserts.
Each document will focus on action steps being taken by the Archdiocese to assist victims, advance the protection of children, and ensure the integrity of the Priesthood.
Again, thank you for your correspondence and your dedication to the protection of children. They are truly our most precious asset and represent the future of the Church in Philadelphia.
Donna M. Farrell, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Philadelphia