As no one in this town reads the Catholic Standard & Times, where the story was buried "in a spare notice on page 8," the Inquirer did the public service of announcing the move:
The scope of the announcement was evident in the priests' biographies: Over the last four decades, they had served in some 35 parishes and five Catholic high schools across the Philadelphia region.
While the published notice began with the words, "in the spirit of transparency," archdiocesan officials provided no details of the abuse. The announcement did not use the word sexual in describing the accusations, saying only that the priests were defrocked for "misconduct involving minors...."
Cardinal Justin Rigali declined to comment yesterday. Donna M. Farrell, spokeswoman for Rigali and the archdiocese, said the cardinal "does offer deep apologies to the victims of sexual abuse."
Say what you will, but we've had nine laicizations in the last month. Rigali is flexing his Roman muscle to expedite the purge, and that's a good thing. If only we had a more credible operation to publicize that.