FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, April 25, 2011
North Wales, PA – Catholics4Change.com will go offline to support Msgr. John Conway, the pastor who wrote to Cardinal Rigali about being “duped” into placing priests who had been accused of sex abuse. The group will attend his parish Mass on Sunday, May 1 at 10:45 a.m. at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer in North Wales. The group will distribute blue “Keep Kids Safe” ribbon stickers at the entry to create a visible sign of solidarity with the pastor.
Conway asked Cardinal Rigali to visit Montgomery County to reassure “the faithful” of his commitment to reforms. That request was denied.
“We need more priests to take a public stand for the protection of children – even if it means angering Church leaders,” says organizer and site creator, Susan Matthews. “The laity wants their priests to practice what they preach.”
The Archdiocesan Office for Communications answered Catholics4Change’s own letter to Cardinal Rigali. “It was a letter from the faithful in the pews and we didn’t get the respect or the ministry we deserve,” says Matthews. “Priests and laity have to work together to ensure child safety.” Catholics4Change will continue their offline efforts until Cardinal Rigali follows every recommendation in the Grand Jury report.
The parish is located at 1325 Upper State Road, North Wales, PA 19454.
In yesterday’s Holy Thursday Mass, Cardinal Rigali urged Church members to support priests during this time of scandal. Catholics4Change will do just that by throwing their support behind Msgr. John T. Conway, pastor of Mary Mother of the Redeemer Parish.
We invite all Catholics who applaud Msgr. Conway’s very direct letter to Cardinal Rigali, to attend Mass at his parish Sunday, May 1 at 10:45 a.m.
Mary, Mother of the Redeemer is located at 1325 Upper State Road in North Wales, Pa. 19454
Filling his pews to capacity will send a very positive and uplifting message to other members of the clergy. We will support the priests who answer to Jesus first. We will support priests who protect all of God’s children. Please pass this invite to all your Catholic friends and family.
Please read related Articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Cleric Says He Was Duped Into Aiding Priest’s Transfer, by Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer, April 22, 2011
Rigali at, Holy Thursday Mass, Asks Support For Priests, by David O’Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer, April 22, 2011
Click here to see the letter – MMR-
Msgr. John T. Conway, pastor of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer in North Wales, also sent a letter to Cardinal Rigali. In it, he urges Cardinal Rigali to visit the Montgomery County area faithful. Conway wrote the letter after a March 28 meeting with parishioners. The gathering was called to discuss the appearance of his name in the 2005 Grand Jury report in relation to his role as regional vicar. (He is not accused of abuse.) He explained to parishioners that he was asked to help place priests without being told of their history of sexual abuse.
In the letter he writes that it made him “angry as hell” and that he felt “duped” when he found out the truth. “On behalf of the suffering Catholics of this area, and at their request, I am asking you to arrange to meet with your people and speak with them heart-to-heart about regaining the trust of their bishop. I know you cannot visit each parish of the Archdiocese, but please schedule a time to come to the Montgomery County area to assure us that our children will be safe as clergy are reassigned to our parishes in the future.”
Sources tell me the Cardinal declined his offer and Conway was issued the equivalent of a summons to the principal’s office by Bishop Timothy Senior, Aux. Bishop of Philadelphia.
It’s interesting to note that the parish stationary includes the prayer, “Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, help us share in the work of redemption.”
Read another story on this in today’s Montgomery County Intelligence on PhillyBurbs.com.