In July of 2006, Maureen McCartney and Mariana Sorenson, two prosecutors assigned to the 2005 Philadelphia grand jury investigation wrote Cardinal Rigali a letter foreshadowing the 2011 Grand Jury Report.
“We are writing to you as private citizens and advocates of legislative reform because we are alarmed by the message – propagated by Church lobbyists and echoed in legislative chambers and New York Times advertisements – that the Church has fixed the problem. Surely, when you consult your conscience rather than lawyers or public relations advisers, you must know that the problem of sexual predators in the priesthood is not fixed in Philadelphia….”
In 2011 – Still relying on lawyers and p.r. specialists.
“…On December 5, 2005, the Philadelphia Archdiocese declared on its website that it would support some of the grand jury’s legislative proposals, significantly including the elimination of the statute of limitations for the criminal prosecution of child abusers. That appeared to be a positive step, but has proved meaningless. It is meaningless as long as the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, which you head, refuses to lend its support – or worse, if it is quietly opposing the bills, as we have been told. We are confident that if the Pennsylvania bishops backed the five criminal law bills now pending in the legislature, they would pass immediately and with little opposition….”
In 2011 – Still not supporting legislation (and working against it).
“…Abuse victims have asked for good-faith gestures, such as those undertaken by Cardinal O’Malley in Boston – for example, selling the Cardinal’s mansion, opening financial records, and apologizing for the hierarchy’s actions – that would show with deeds as well as words that the Church accepts accountability and is sorry for what happened….”
In 2011 – Abuse victims still waiting.
“….Anyone can do the arithmetic: at least 169 priests accused in Archdiocese files, 121 of them Archdiocesan priests – and only 57 accounted for on the Archdiocese website (17 laicized, 12 dead, 21 in prayer and penance, and 7 pending before the Holy See). The result, evidently enough, is that many of the accused priests named in Archdiocese files but not in the report must still be in ministry (unless there has been an unusually high death rate among accused priests). Because the Archdiocese refused the grand jury’s request for copies of interviews conducted by the Review Board’s investigator, we cannot know the basis on which the board failed to recommend that these priests be removed from ministry. Monsignor Lynn, the Review Board investigator, and the grand jurors all said that they found credible almost all of the allegations they heard against priests. The Archdiocese trumpets its new policies and programs aimed at preventing childhood sexual abuse. But it is troubling – and telling – that the Church has not revealed the names of many accused priests or explained why it has evidently kept them in ministry.
In 2011 another Grand Jury Report released. Some priests finally removed. How many sexually abusive priests still remain in ministry?
Please note that Mary Achilles, Victims Advocate and Msgr. Timothy Senior, Secretary for Clergy were copied on their letter.