The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has suspended 21 priests for involvement in the sexual abuse of minors. The suspensions come after a grand jury found that 37 priests in the diocese were implicated in such abuse.
Cardinal Justin Rigali, previously insisted that there were no priests “who have an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them.”
Critics are saying that the Church fought to retain the priests and denied allegations of current priests with abuse histories. While on suspension, the priests cannot celebrate Mass publicly, wear collars or hear confessions.
This could open the door for significant civil liability for the Church in Philadelphia. Moreover, the delay in suspending the priests could become a major issue in court. These priests may also now have more of an incentive to implicate the Church in such civil actions.
Source: NY Times