Pope accepts Philadelphia archbishop’s retirement, names replacement

    Update: The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests responded today to the appointment of Chaput as Philadelphia’s new archbishop, saying it’s important Chaput sets the correct tone on sexual abuse by the clergy.

    “We were disappointed in how Charles Chaput responded to abuse claims as the Archbishop of the Denver Archdiocese,” reads a statement from SNAP. “We suspect that the fears held by church leaders in Philadelphia of similar reform is one of the reasons that Chaput was promoted, however we believe his past record is not as important as the tone he will set for the future.”

    SNAP wants Chaput to support legislation that would reform the statute of limitations on sex abuse claims in Pennsylvania and “immediately remove and discipline” archdiocese employees who enabled and covered up clergy abuse.

    Original report: Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Philadelphia archbishop Justin Rigali, sending him into retirement as the archdiocese faces accusations that it covered up a long-running priest sex abuse scandal.

    The pope has named Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput to succeed him.

    The brief Vatican email announcement today said the resignation of the 76-year-old Rigali was for reason of age. He submitted it on his 75th birthday in April 2010, as required by church law, but the pope did not immediately act on it. 

    A 10 a.m. press conference is scheduled for the official announcement–we’ll bring you the latest as it happens.

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