from top to bottom, the roman catholic child molesting cartel continues to protect rapist priests. indeed, the church has consistently rewarded bishops who have covered-up child molesting incidents in their diocese…including the current pope and the vatican’s top theologian.
Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Philadelphia archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali today, sending him into retirement as the archdiocese faces accusations that it covered up a long-running priest sex abuse scandal.
The pope named conservative Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput to succeed him.
The brief Vatican announcement said the resignation of the 76-year-old Rigali was for reason of age. He submitted it on his 75th birthday in April 2010, as required by church law, but the pope did not immediately act on it.
But the Cardinal has been under pressure for his handling of the sex-abuse scandal. In his eight-year tenure, a pair of grand jury reports, one in 2005 and one released in February, have rocked the archdiocese by accusing church officials of covering up abuse allegations against priests.
February’s scathing report resulted in unprecedented criminal charges against a former secretary of clergy for allegedly transferring pedophile priests without warning new parishes.
The grand jury accused church officials of keeping 37 clergy in active ministry despite credible claims that they had sexually abused young people. The allegations came nine years after U.S. bishops promised at the height of the clergy abuse crisis to oust all predators from ministry.
A child sexual abuse and cover up civil lawsuit is being filed Tuesday alleging that Fr. Richard Farwell began sexually abusing a teenage boy at St. Ann’s in the early 1980s and continued to molest him at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and in the NC mountains. The suit, seeking damages in excess of $10,000, also alleges that the Charlotte Diocese has concealed child sex crimes by clergy since the Diocese was founded and that such cover ups continue even now.
According to the lawsuit, the Charlotte Diocese knew from the 1980’s that: 1) Farwell was unfit to serve as a parish priest; 2) that Farwell was a member of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and 3) that Farwell had a multitude of problems, requiring the Diocese to send him to the House of Affirmation, a notorious (and now closed) facility in Massachusetts that treated child abusing clergy from across the country. Despite this knowledge, Diocesan officials allowed Farwell to continue serving as a priest until 2002, when criminal child sex abuse charges abuse were filed against him in Rowan County. In November 2004, Farwell pled no-contest to “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” and received a 181-day suspended sentence.
In sworn testimony in 2006 about his time as Archbishop of Portland, Oregon (1986-1995), US Cardinal William Levada said he decided to reassign the offending priest after he underwent therapy.
“The abuse in question had happened 20 years before, or so… the recommendation of the therapy was that he was not at risk for re-abusing and that it would be prudent to reassign him… and prudent also to put conditions that would make sure that he would not be overstressed to do some inappropriate behavior,” Levada testified.
A transcript of Levada’s lengthy testimony on his decision in the mid-1990s was provided to AFP by a lawyer of the victims of pedophile priests in Oregon state.
Levada now heads the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). He was chosen for the post by his predecessor and then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who as pope now has come under criticism for failing to act against priests accused of child abuse in his earlier position as chief Vatican enforcer of Catholic doctrine and morals.
In 2001, while he was a cardinal, he issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church’s interests ahead of child safety.
The document recommended that rather than reporting sexual abuse to the relevant legal authorities, bishops should encourage the victim, witnesses and perpetrator not to talk about it. And, to keep victims quiet, it threatened that if they repeat the allegations they would be excommunicated.