D.A. Seth Williams on Cardinal Rigali’s Resignation


Response from District Attorney Seth Williams on Cardinal Rigali’s Resignation

My thoughts and prayers go out to Cardinal Rigali as he makes this transition in his life.  I respect the Cardinal very much and recognize the positive impact he has made in the history of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He came into a very difficult situation and I think he tried to do what he thought was best for the Church. I’m not going to comment on the findings of the Grand Jurors, but I will say that Cardinal Rigali’s response to their report has been constructive. Rather than attacking the messengers, he has listened to their criticisms. I understand that he has initiated changes that should help to protect Philadelphia’s children and better serve victims going forward. I commend him for promptly removing over 20 priests with outstanding allegations of improper relations with minors after the latest Grand Jury investigation was announced, and I applaud his efforts to re-examine those cases thoroughly. I hope that Archbishop Chaput follows through on these initiatives, and I look forward to working with him in the future.

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8 Responses to “D.A. Seth Williams on Cardinal Rigali’s Resignation”

  1. Political schmoozing at it’s finest. A good PR move so he can continue to be in good with the hierarchy. He’s setting things up nicely so Chaput will cooperate.

    He understands the rules perfectly.

  2. Awful, untrustworthy, Catholic apologist. They could have made him the next Archbishop.

    Did some research, and found out that your Philadelphia DA, R Seth Williams, “is also proud to serve on the boards of … the Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, St. Cyprian Catholic Church”, so now you know that he is on their side. Since he is a politician, he will certainly change sides if he gets enough public pressure, but it’s better to just get rid of him. He wasn’t appointed by the pope.

    The speech he should have made:

    “Don’t worry. We’re putting a monitoring anklet on Cardinal Rigali.

    We know Rigali lied to the congregation about whether there were accused pedophiles in ministry, and I, for one, will work tirelessly trying to prosecute anyone who does that. I have children, and I have so much compassion for any children that were abused. We will see if Rigali was involved in previous cover ups. We’re researching every possibility, including reckless child endangerment, conspiracy, RICO statutes normally reserved for organized crime, and we’ll reach as high as the Vatican if we need to.

    I will fight for victims as I would fight for my own children. I have prepared my whole life for this challenge, and I want to make this city and my children proud. If I lose my political career because devout Catholics vote to keep me out, I’ll walk out with my head held higher than any priest in this town ever could.

    We are embarrassed that the statute of limitations allowed Cardinal Bevilaqua and others to get away. That bothers me every single day. We are investigating other charges against Bevilaqua like perjury, obstruction of justice, etc, but he clearly knew the laws well enough to avoid prosecution. As a Catholic, I trust that he will pay for his crimes for eternity, as did Bishop Krol.

    Those of you that know me know that I’m Catholic, but I believe in the Catholic religion and its laws, and I don’t believe in its hypocritical leaders when they break the laws of God and laws of the land. I am truly ashamed of them, and consider them false prophets. They disgraced God, Catholicism, and everything it stands for.

    If you abused children or conspired to cover it up, I am your worst enemy. My faith makes me realize you are doing Satan’s work, and I will fight you with all of the power and gifts that God gave me. I ask for the complete cooperation from everyone in the community. Philadelphia has the opportunity to be a major contributor in ensuring child safety and exposing anyone who doesn’t take child safety seriously, and we can change the world by starting here. God has my back. Join me.

    Thank you for this opportunity. – Seth Williams”

    • Patrick,

      Seth’s personal connections and service to the church makes it clear why he wrote what he did about Rigali’s resignation. Thank you for sharing that info.

      As far as what we wished he would have written…wow, that really would have been a powerful letter as you wrote it Patrick. Can you imagine the swelling of support a true leader would inspire if he had written that? Instead, he confirmed in what bed he’s been sleeping. So disappointing.

  3. “Though murder cases are an exception, Philadelphia conviction rates trail the nation’s in rape, robbery, and serious assault cases.”

    http://articles.philly.com/2009-12-13/news/24988504_1_murder-case-violent-crime-conviction

    Hope this DA does a better job and not throw victims under the bus. Kids have no vote so the adults need to let him know how we feel about this issue. Don’t need our kids to suffer so the DA’s conviction record looks good. Rather “waste” the courts money to expose these predators so other people will be warned.

  4. Know now the power of the Vatican. Never underestimate it!!

    What is to be done: Write to the DA.

    Let him know that Catholics are not happy. Snail mail is the best.

    Write today. Write tomorrow. WRITE TO THE DA. WRITE TO YOUR CONGRESSPEOPLE.

  5. I see Seth Williams setting himself up for a mayoral run………shame on him…

  6. I feel he is doing the same thing I see/hear many Catholics doing. There is no way to make any part of this history with the church politically correct. You really have to pick a side. What you chose to do about it is personal. But if your going to express yourself publically, I would rather it be open, and honest. Even if not everyone agrees.

    I also heard that he delayed putting out the report back in February, due to Catholic Schools week. Not sure if there is any truth in that.

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