Now it can be told that, during the interregnum, I gave an interview to the national Knight-Ridder wire speaking quite highly of Rigali and his Roman cred. And the lockjaw mouthpieces here still got pissed and tried to muzzle me for the Conclave, as if Philly were Catholic Iran or something -- Ayatollahs welcome.
If they got pissed at me, God only knows what kind of venom they have for John Grogan of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who launched into two columns bashing the Pharaoh for attending the Novemdiales liturgy celebrated by that great exemplar of human dignity, Bernie Law, who taught us how great the difference truly is between being pro-birth and pro-life.
Admittedly, the premise of the Grogan columns -- i.e. Rigali should've boycotted the mass -- wasn't savvy, and it was an uninformed fight to pick. But oh well.
Whatever the case, he's back at the well today, writing about a recent lunch with a priest:
Last week, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia quietly made public the defrocking of seven priests for misconduct involving minors. This is a step in the right direction, and one that is occurring in dioceses across the country. And yet it seems inadequate.Hearing from Rigali? With our "bella figura-obsessed" Communications shop? Seeing the Birds win the Bowl in our lifetime is more likely. I'd love to see both, but I'm just being realistic.
The announcement was buried inside an archdiocese newspaper, as if maybe no one would notice. It could not bring itself to call the misconduct sexual, but that's what it was.
When my Inquirer colleagues called Cardinal Justin Rigali seeking comment, he declined. Excuse me, cardinal, but there are 1.5 million members of your flock who need to hear from you about this.
Grogan raises what's possibly the most important question for the public good, one completely ignored by the CS&T (where abuse news goes to die, lest it become public knowledge):
Now I wonder: With the fallen priests stripped of their vows, will the Church continue to monitor them? Or are they alone and on their own?
Sorry, John. They're on their own. But we have a house for the others....