In this case, a portrait says a thousand words. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop emeritus of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, visited St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on April 2 for the official unveiling of his official portrait. He celebrated Mass preceding a dinner reception at the Seminary.
What this portrait says to the laity is that seminarians were taught a lesson in revisionist history. Despite a tradition of portraits, Cardinal Rigali’s legacy in Philadelphia in regard to the child sex abuse scandal is nothing to be commemorated.
“In Philadelphia, a Changing of the Guard in the Shadow of Scandal,” by Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, July 19, 2011
Excerpt: After Cardinal Rigali said there were no priests in active ministry who had been accused of abuse, he reversed field and suspended 21 of them in one day, prompting criticism that he should have alerted prosecutors sooner.
Despite Cardinal Rigali’s best efforts Tuesday to leave the scandal behind, it has come to define his term.
“There’s a special poignancy to this ugly controversy that has dogged him and his years in Philadelphia,” said Russell Shaw, a former spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and a writer on Catholic affairs.
“He’s a very decent man, a loyal son and good servant of the church and its people, who wouldn’t knowingly do anyone injury,” he said. “I’d say, though, that Justin Rigali is singularly ill-equipped by nature to handle this kind of high visibility, painful, complex crisis.” He inherited a mess, Mr. Shaw said, but it grew worse under his leadership.
2 thoughts on “A Picture Says a Thousand Words”
It certainly would have been much more appropriate for the official unveiling of the portrait to have taken place one day earlier.
Justice (for children) under Justin ????
Perhaps Mr. Shaw is unaware of the mess Cardinal Rigali left behind in St. Louis. He even got his bishop (the current president of the UCCB – Dolan) involved in child abuse cover-up. He did make friends in Philly, like Rocco Abessinio who made a fortune giving credit to poor risk Latino customers, and gave the archdiocese Millions of $ to build them a church, St. Rocco’s, near the farms where they work. The Cardinal actually kept the donation as anonymous until it had to be finally released. Of course, the archdiocese had to kick in millions $ as well, at a time the priest pension fund was going broke. The attorney general of West Virginia had some nasty things to say about Abessinio’s business practices and there are other states AGs with negative comments. I am ashamed this was my archbishop, and his successor remains mute regarding the child abuse cover up by this bishop, and other bishops from Philly. Unless I missed it, he failed to comment and take action on the shredded lists of priests ordered by Cardinal Bevilacqua, action like rename the Cardinal Bevilacqua center in Kensington. John Heary