Twenty-one Catholic priests have been suspended as child molestation suspects in the Philadelphia diocese. Their names have not been released to the public, but they were among 37 priests named in a scathing grand jury report.
A week after the suspensions, three other priests named by the grand jury were also suspended. Another five would have been suspended, but one was already on leave, two were not in active ministry and two had joined other religious organizations.
This follows a 2005 grand jury report that there was evidence of abuse by 63 priests. Although the Catholic Church had formed a panel to investigate abuse complaints, the 2011 grand jury found that the panel protected the church for the most part, not the victims of abuse.
Cardinal Justin Rigali said. "These have been difficult weeks since the release of the grand jury report, difficult most of all for victims of sexual abuse, but also for all Catholics and for everyone in our community."
Rigali should have suspended the priests much sooner, said Peter Isely, of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
The cardinal has now appointed a former city child abuse prosecutor to look into complaints against priests that church officials said were not substantiated.
Pat writes: Abuse by Catholic priests is not only happening in America. We met one man in England who told us he and others had suffered abuse at a renowned Catholic boys’ school (which unfortunately I cannot name for legal reasons). He was about 50 years old, and was seething with rage as he spoke. A few years later he committed suicide. He had not tried to get justice or compensation; nor had any of the other men whom he claimed were molested at the school. This confirms our suspicion that the cases being made public now are the tip of a very large and ugly iceberg.
As we have said in our book 'Cults and Isms: True or False', all Catholic priests have to take a lifelong vow of celibacy, and the Bible calls that a 'doctrine of demons'. (1 Tim 4:1-3)
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