The National Catholic Reporter has published an insider’s view of the Philly clergy sex abuse trial by Rocco Palmo, Whispers In the Loggia creator and blogger. Click here to read: In Philadelphia Church, at a Crossroads,” April 9, 2012. As always the comments are very pointed and interesting. Frequent site commenter Gerald Slevin’s observations are included in the string.
Palmo is an encyclopedia of Philadelphia Church history which gives him a comprehensive context in which to analyze the crisis. He also has international Catholic news reporting experience. It’s a pleasure and an education to speak with him about both. Palmo has described Archbishop Chaput as a mentor and was close with the late Cardinal Bevilacqua. Even the best reporter’s observations would be filtered through those friendships. I desperately want the same Church for which his mother hopes. However, I’m a bit cynical that this “is being cleaned up.” I still see lots of filth.
The trial may or may not put one priest in jail for a cover up that involved many more. Clergy sex abuse cover ups have occurred and continues to occur in other cities around the world – until civil authorities step in. Until the root causes of moral corruption in the clergy are addressed – we haven’t accomplished a clean up. It’s a top-down problem. The Pope is awaiting recommendations from Bishops this Spring. I wonder what Bishop Finn will suggest?
We must do the cleaning up. Here’s two ways:
1. Let the DA know you expect him to leverage the full force of justice in regard to protecting children from all sex abuse.
Three South Penn Square
Corner of Juniper and South Penn Square
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3499
The Twitter account is @Philly_DAsOfc
2. Withhold contributions to Archdiocesan funds until Archbishop Chaput meets all of the recommendations of the 2011 Grand Jury. (Remove the victims’ assistance program from Archdiocesan administration – and lawyer access. Priests should be evaluated by independent psychiatrists. Church leadership should support the removal of statute of limitations, rather than fight it.)