Another rough day for the archdiocese

 This is not exactly what the Archdiocese of Philadelphia needed.

Already neck-deep in a new wave of abuse claims against priests and former priests that resulted in criminal charges, as well as charges of child endangerment filed against a high-ranking archdiocese official, the church is now getting smacked with a new wave of unflattering headlines.

The longtime athletic director and baseball coach at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor yesterday was charged with trying to solicit one of his former athletes to commit sex acts.

You can read the entire story here.

According to the affidavit of probable cause issued for his arrest, Francis Murphy offered to become the teen’s “sugar daddy,” in effect trading some things the student needed in exchange for sexual favors.


Something else happened yesterday that did not receive nearly the publicity, but which made abuse advocates who have been at war with the archdiocese for years furious.

They pointed out that Pope Benedict XVI bestowed a special honor on Philadelphia Archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali, asking him to represent the pontiff at a special church celebration in the Czech Republic in June.

To put in bluntly, they were incredulous. They simply do not understand that, among all the cardinals at his disposal, the Holy Father instead selected Rigali.

“There are two possible explanations,” wrote Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “Vatican officials are either incredibly stupid – and no one believes that – or incredibly callous.”

Probably not the way church officials wanted to kick off the holiest week on the calendar, as the faithful take part in Holy Week activities leading up to Easter.


Anonymous said…
Please help support victims of sexual abuse by demanding honesty, transparency, and accountability from Church leaders. Please visit our website and create productive discussion about how we, as a society, can prevent future children and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse inside and outside the walls of the Catholic Church.
Kristine Ward NSAC said…

We deplore Pope Benedict’s naming of Cardinal Justin Rigali as his special envoy to a church celebration in the Czech Republic in June.

Is there no shame at the Vatican even in Holy Week?

We apologize to the survivors for the hurt this slap in the face inflicts on them today.

We call upon Catholics in Philadelphia to show their response to this new affront by closing their wallets to the Easter collection.

Honoring a Cardinal who left credibly accused priests in ministry and even when forced by major publicity to remove them withheld their names can’t be the message of Holy Week.

This is a week of sign and symbol in the Roman Catholic Church. How appalling that the sign today is one of reckless disregard to the vulnerable and innocent.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 18 APR 2011 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father named Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) as his special envoy to the bicentennial celebration of the birth of St. John Nepomuceno Neumann that will take place in Prachatitz, Czech Republic on 18 June 2011.

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) is an organization of in the pew Catholics formed to educate the public on sexual abuse and support survivors of sexual abuse and their families while advocating for changes in public policy and laws to protect children.
Anonymous said…
Once the Pittsburgh Diocese is finally investigated PA will be known as the sexual predator- friendly state. Ship all the bishops and cardinals to Rome, no one wnats them in America any more, especially our children.

Mike Ference