Philadelphia-area Catholics greeted a new spiritual leader Thursday as Archbishop Charles Chaput was installed as head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
A Mass followed the ceremony held in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Center City.
Amid a sex abuse scandal that has rocked the church, Chaput said he will dedicate himself to his new position.
“No bishop will give himself more joyfully to you and to the service of this church than I will, in order to renew our church together,” said the former archbishop of Denver. “No bishop will try harder to help persons who have been hurt by the sins of the past, and no bishop will work harder to strengthen and encourage my brother priests and to restore the hearts of our faithful.”
Outside the Basilica, the Rev. Robert Hoatson, co-founder of a New Jersey-based charity that assists clergy abuse survivors, stood beside others holding pictures of some of those victims.
“We’re here today to welcome Archbishop Chaput with an appropriate welcome, I think,” Hoatson said. “And that’s to ask him, No.1, to tell the truth; No. 2, to make survivors and their healing a priority; and No.3, not to take any of the arrogance of the hierarchy and bring it to Philadelphia.”
Hoatson said apologies from the church are hollow unless they are accompanied by action.