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.