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Op-Ed from Sister Maureen Paul Turlish: Credibly Accused Priest Returned to Ministry (in Archdiocese of Philadelphia)




This op-ed was published in the NSAC News, October 23, 2012.

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I received the NSAC News from Steve Sheehan via email.

Thanks, Steve.

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NATIONAL SURVIVOR ADVOCATES COALITION NEWS

October 23, 2012                                                     Vol. 4, No. 172

 

 

 

Op-Ed

Credibly Accused Priest Returned to Ministry

On Monday, October 15th, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced its decision to restore Rev. Joseph DiGregorio to ministry, a priest credibly accused of the sexual exploitation of a minor.

 

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20121015_Archdiocese_restores_72-year-old_Phila__priest_to_ministry.html

 

It did so while releasing as little information as possible.

 

The archdiocese’s poor record of accountability and transparency began to become known as early as 2002 when on April 26th then Cardinal Anthony Bevilaequa was quoted on a CNN News night report saying, “We all are agreed that no priest guilty of even one act of sexual abuse of a minor will function in any ecclesial ministry or any capacity in our diocese.”

 

That was 2002.

 

Later the 2005 and 2011 grand jury reports highlighted in graphic detail the lack of accountability and transparency shown by three Philadelphia archbishops — Cardinals Krol, Bevilaequa and Rigali.

 

Is there really a reason why faith should be put in this latest decision by the present Archbishop Charles Chaput to return DiGregorio to ministry without more information being released to the public? Chaput admitted in his statement Monday that DiGregorio was found to have violated the church’s behavioral standards for priests.

 

What exactly were the charges? What was the supporting evidence? Did that evidence include records, documents, correspondence and the like? And what about the second priest, the Rev. William Santry, who admitted to sexually abusing Barbara Dellavecchia at the same Our Lady of Loreto Parish in West Philadelphia and who was subsequently removed from the priesthood?

What information does Chaput have that makes him so confident that simply because there have been no accusations reported to the archdiocese in 40 years that more victims don’t exist and that DiGregorio poses no current risk?

 

Should people put their faith in the archdiocesan review board?

 

Even after the release of the 2011 Grand Jury Report on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, its review board was not given access to all the information the archdiocese had on clerics accused of sexually exploiting minors. In fact, at that time the review board was not being given all the names of the accused let alone all the information on the few names they were given.

According to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the bishops no one with even one credible accusation of the sexual exploitation of a child is to be returned to ministry in the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Has that changed?

 

Philadelphia Catholics realized in 2011 that their faith in Cardinal Rigali’s promises after the release of the 2005 grand jury report was misplaced. Charles Chaput, who became Philadelphia’s archbishop in 2011, has yet to demonstrate the kind of accountability and transparency that would inspire one to trust his decisions without something more tangible then just his words to support them.

 

“I found him suitable for ministry,” is simply not enough.

 

Our church hierarchy lost that kind of faith and trust when it chose to ignore Jesus’ mandate to protect children in favor of enabling and protecting sexual predators.

 

There is no margin for error where the safety of children is concerned.

 

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish

Founding Member, NSAC

Advocate for Victim/Survivors & Legislative Reform

New Castle, Delaware

maturlishmdsnd@yahoo.com

 

 




    11 Responses to “Op-Ed from Sister Maureen Paul Turlish: Credibly Accused Priest Returned to Ministry (in Archdiocese of Philadelphia)”

  1. Thomas Says:

    Philly shows us that there are fractures in the institution that cannot be repaired. It is also shown, that once again, we cannot fully trust hierarchy to live up to doing the right thing when it comes to the protection of children. It is going to take more than a synod…it is going to take the entire Church membership to remove the scandalous and inappropriate behavior of hierarchs from their lives.

  2. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    BOYCOTT SAN ANTONIO WINERY PRODUCTS: http://joeypiscitelli.com/child-abuser-priest-disgracefully-represents-the-blood-of-christ/

    PLEASE READ THE ABOVE ARTICLE BY JOEY PISCITELLI AND VIEW THE VIDEO, SNAP OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.

    SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE LOVE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SAN ANTONIO WINERY AND THE SALESIAN PRIEST CHILD RAPIST, FR. STEVE WHELAN, FEATURED IN THE ABOVE VIDEO.

    FR. WHELAN RAPED MR. PISCITELLI AS A CHILD.

  3. Thomas Says:

    Something is rotten in SF…and it isn’t grapes!

  4. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    A place where Salesian child molesters hide: https://www.google.com/search?q=St.+Peter+and+Pauls+urch+SF&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=A0T&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=QyCHULT5Ka_nigLN7YCYDQ&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1073&bih=600

  5. ERW Says:

    We cannot trust ever any bishop.

    The book JUST CALL ME EXELLENCY by Stephen L Boehrer recently featured on this website, tells the tragic truth about the hierarchy in staight forward and blunt language. the illustrations by Ken Vonderberg are hillarious and at the same time painfully accurate for us, who want a decent and Jesus following leadership. Yet, those in the position to give guidance, prove day after day to be totally corrupt. How long do we have to suffer this evil?

  6. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    The Down Low on the Salesians and Steve Riboli who denies anything about Fr. Steve Whelan, child molester:

    http://californiasalesians.com/

  7. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    Posted by anonymous: http://www.business-lists.com/search/detail2.asp?id=A1A5644E3B25679C

  8. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    mommy’s baby bird: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=UKC&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1609&bih=900&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnso&tbnid=4XU4vaDSHiZmPM:&imgrefurl=http://www.voafanti.com/gate/big5/www.voanews.com/content/none/146135.html&docid=OHOG3dBKEKl_TM&itg=1&imgurl=http://www.voafanti.com/gate/big5/gdb.voanews.eu/40F77FFD-2679-4030-8C0C-EDFB75963FD7_mw800_s.jpg&w=800&h=647&ei=N02HUOzAOc7BiwKwtoDAAg&zoom=1&iact=hc&dur=62&sig=110245075869907291397&page=1&tbnh=202&tbnw=250&start=0&ndsp=29&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:71&tx=140&ty=58&vpx=228&vpy=188&hovh=202&hovw=250

    signed,

    anony

  9. Thomas Says:

    In our life times, we all suffer at the hands of evil doers. Some wait on Superman…and he never comes. Call a Council and watch what comes down!

  10. Isabel Sinton Says:

    Dear Sister Maureen :
    I cheer every time I read an article you have written!
    You would like a elaborate reason than “I found him suitable for ministry,” ?
    Here goes: Chaput : Because I am the archbishop , that’s why. Now kiss my ring.
    It is shades of ‘Father Knows Best.’ Don’t question or disagree.
    I know what I would suggest Chaput kiss, but you, as a nun, probably have a more limited choice.

  11. David Says:

    Thanks Maureen. You are spot on. Why should we now trust what the bishop said? the only reason would be if you belong to a cult.


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