Cardinal Justin Rigali has responded again to the Grand Jury report that details the abuse charges against four priests and a teacher. Using harsher language this time in reference to the accused, Rigali addresses claims of there being more priests responsible for inappropriate acts.
“Sexual abuse of children is a crime. It is always wrong and gravely evil. Protecting children, preventing child abuse and assisting victims are priorities of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia,” Rigali said in a statement, admitting the diocese has more work to do.
The diocese has placed Father Joseph L. DiGregorio, Father Joseph J. Gallagher and Father Stephen B. Perzan on administrative leave as it reviews their cases. To help with that is Gina Maisto Smith, a partner at Ballard Spahr law firm. She’ll examine claims against all priests and make recommendations to the cardinal about how to move forward.
Taking those recommendations will be up to Rigali.
“The task before us now is to recognize where we have fallen short and to let our actions speak to our resolve,” Rigali said.
OK, Rigali, let your actions speak. The city is watching.