Later, the 2005 and 2011 grand-jury reports highlighted in graphic detail the lack of accountability and transparency shown by Cardinals Krol, Bevilacqua and Rigali.
Is there really a reason why faith should be put in this latest decision by Archbishop Charles Chaput to return DiGregorio to ministry without more information being released to the public? Chaput admitted in his statement 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 because there have been no accusations reported to the Archdiocese in 40 years, 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
Advocate for Victim/Survivors
& Legislative Reform, New Castle, Del.
Lead paint & landlords
The new lead-based paint law goes into effect Dec. 21. The law states that all leases signed after Dec. 21 with the intent that children 6 years or under are going to reside in a unit built before 1978 must now have a lead-dust wipe test conducted by a certified technician prior to move-in. This ordinance was crafted by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, passed by City Council and signed into law by Mayor Nutter on Dec. 21, 2011.
Young children must be protected from the hazards of lead paint, but 99 percent of the landlords in this city were not responsible for putting lead into the paint nor using lead paint in their units. This plan is going to punish and bury many middle-class landlords who invested in good faith in real estate with a drastically different set of rules. Now they are stuck. We need more balance in the law between all parties involved.
One of the major objections I have in this law is that, at the eleventh hour, Councilwoman Reynolds Brown put in an amendment excluding all dwelling units owned or subsidized by the Philadelphia Housing Authority or privately owned but currently leased under the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8). Don't all children deserve the same protection from lead paint?
If I were advising PHA, as a risk-management strategy, I would follow the rules of the private sector. Federal law states if there is a difference between federal, state and local regulations, the more-stringent requirements must be observed in any jurisdiction.
Can you imagine PHA going before a judge in a lawsuit over a tenant's lead-paint issue and testifying that PHA is exempt under the law, according to City Council and the mayor?
I implore City Council to institute changes to level the playing field as to not create panic and disinvestment in Philadelphia in this critical economic climate.
S. Philly busy signal
We want our phones back! What's up with not being able to use our cell phones in the Packer Park area when there is a game at one of our arenas? The money we spend paying taxes, buying tickets and all the aggravation the residents in South Philly have to put up with during the games (parking issues, outsiders trashing our neighborhoods, noise, etc.), you'd think Our Mayor would address this phone problem with the cable or satellite companies that are responsible for this issue.
Janice Di Joseph