Would the Cardinal Respond on Behalf of Christ?

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

16 thoughts on “Would the Cardinal Respond on Behalf of Christ?

  1. This is typical of the disregard the Archdiocese feels for the laity. We are dismissed…but send cash and believe all of the ridiculous things we say!
    Thanks to be God for the laity. You are all helping me “hang in there”.

    1. Stop the cash! If, as a group, we did that, we might get attention. Give to those in need, our buy what is needed for those in need. This is what I am doing.

      1. Absolutely.

        Spend Easter Sunday in front of your TV at home, watching EWTN…withhold cash for months from this tinpot dictator from St. Louis and see him turn turtle and come out in public asking where are his faithful ?!

  2. I can’t help but think of Buddy,the 87 year old who contacted us to let us know that he has emailed Cardinal Rigali everyday since the release of the grand jury report.I think of all the others who have called and written in the past few months and have received no response from the leadership.I think of all the victims who have been ignored by the leadership .
    It seems that they would rather have people like us leave the Church so they can minister to a flock of sheep.That is very clear. You don’t ignore people that you care about. Not only are they not fulfilling their promises to the victims they are doing absolutely nothing to try to restore the Faith of area Catholics. Ministering to people in pain and keeping people in the faith,what clearly defined roles these are of clergy. If Jesus was here that is what he would be doing. As Susan says we received a slap to our faith.

  3. The cardinal can hide behind as many press releases as he wants and hope that eventually he will wear us down and that we will take our questions and go away. There certainly is limited information available, but if he thinks that is the primary reason for the laity to be so “emotional” then he needs to step outside 222 and have a pastoral visit with each vicariate where he can dialog with us directly. One-way communication via a press release and a bulletin insert is not dialog. He’s telling us what he wants us to know but he isn’t hearing..or maybe ignoring… what want we him to understand. The cardinal needs to hear the anger…not just know about it. He needs to listen to the questions, and look all of us in the eye and accept responsibility and ask for forgiveness in the name of the archdiocese. That’s two way communication. My parish sent him an invitation to come and meet with us but it will be a cold day in hell before that will happen. I saw the insert today. It didn’t satisfy me. Nothing short of a meeting with the laity will satisfy me.

  4. “We are cognizant of the fact that emotions have been compounded by the limited amount of information available.”

    Only from Ms. Farrell, the Director of COMMUNICATIONS, would we receive such a statement.

    Let me help here. We are “cognizant of the fact”….how about, we “know” or “understand.”

    Sorry, I can’t help you with the next one…….what the hell are “emotions that have been compounded.”

    As Director of Communications, I am sure Ms. Farrell requested other members of the senior Church staff to review this document for clarity, understanding and accuracy. She did allow this review, didn’t she?

    1. Let’s face it. None of these statements are coming from the cardinal or Ms. Farrell. They are not being reviewed by senior members of the Church staff either. Everything that we are being fed either through the media or “canned statements” sent as response to our letters, are being directed by the lawyers. And, who is paying for all of this legal advice? We all know the answer to that. We need to short change their source of funds.

  5. A Prince of the church offering the response of Marie Antoinette…”let them eat cake.”


    No, wait. Sadly, believable.

  6. How disappointing. But I guess I knew not to expect any reply from Regali. I did feel hopeful that he realized how intense everyones emotions are about this terrible crisis.

  7. This display of “smoke and Mirrors” goes on and on. These guys are masters of deception, and that behavior is occurring throughout the Church, from Rome on down. The RC Church is a corporation, no different than BP, or the former Enron Inc. They are looking out for their own interest. They hire the best lawyers and PR people(at our expense.)

    The legal fees for Lynn’s defense is coming from what people have left to the Church in their Wills. If you have included the Church in your Will, you may want to have it rewritten. As laypeople the only power we have over them is our money. Stop Giving!

    I’m sorry, but the first interest of the Church is not your children. The relationship between the Church and the victim is an adversarial process, no different that any other legal case.

    When you take on the Church be ready to hit them hard; I assure you that they are prepared to do the same to you. They are rough thugs, not the benign loving shepherds that we wish they were.

    I spent a number of years in religious life and I know how the system works. I suggest reading the article “One Priest’s Perspective On Silence” It’s on this website. The “good” priests are not treated well (they can’t speak-out), and many of them live under a reign of fear.

    1. drwho13, I totally agree with because of my own personel history with the church as a survivor. How dare the archdiocese pay for Lynn’s legal fees, as far as I am concerned, He was the getaway car that allowed these perps to rape children.

    2. Want to put an end to this madness? Shut down the cash machine folks. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT put a dime in the basket on Sundays. If you have child in Catholic school pay the tuition and WITHOLD your Sunday MANDITORY contribution. I have done it and I have been threaten that my kids will not be allowed in school however I know other families are doing the same thing and they too have “gotten the call”. The fact is THE CHURCH DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN only the $$$. Let me site some examples, two years ago one of my kids was graduating from a suburban catholic high school and the parents of twins were having financial problems. The school would not allow the two girls to walk across the stage a graduation because they had an unpaid balance of $562. Next example, same school and it involved a mother who needed some additional time to pay the spring tuition. The president & principal of the school did very little the child left for public school. Wake up Catholics!!! It is time to put an end the Pay-Play-Obey mentality. One more item, this group players in Philadelphia “plays” for keeps and hey will come after you so be ready should you cease your support.

  8. With the recent response to catholics4change, from donna farrell I just want to let people know that this is the kind of treatment we as survivors have been getting for years. They just don’t care and they only put out the smoke and mirrors to let you think they are doing the right thing in order to pacify the people in the pews when in realty they are doing nothing to heal the very wounded. By the way the zero tolerance was promised in the Dallas Charter by the bishops back in 2002!!!

  9. http://dhs.phila.gov/intranet/pgintrahome_pub.nsf/Content/DHS+History


    6318 also states that the person, as defined in the law, reporting the abuse has immunity. Only confession and spiritual direction would be exempt. This law was passed in the 1990’s.

    Like to know how many of the victims would have been religious, priests or assist the church in a variety of ways. Get sick every time i hear “pray for vocations” think God has called plenty, but the church refused to groom them instead too many have used them as toys. Had a few ready to enter until they witness sexual abuse.

    There are religious that won’t give money IE gifts, stipends and other income back to their order or congregation because they refuse to support abusers.

    They are paying to prevent outsiders from seeing the files. My kids saw more of my files than I did. A little shock to their CCD teacher when researching my kids records for Confirmation.

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