Hear Tom Roberts on the Philadelphia scandal

by Maureen Fiedler

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As most NCR readers know, the sex abuse scandal broke out anew in February in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. A grand jury issued a scathing report, indicating that as many as 37 priests with credible accusations of child sexual abuse or inappropriate activity with a minor were still functioning as priests.

Initially, Cardinal Justin Rigali, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, denied that any such priests were still in ministry. Six days later, three were suspended. And within the past week, 21 more were suspended.

After reading these facts, which fly in the face of the “zero tolerance” policy enacted by the U.S. Catholic Bishops in their famous “Dallas Charter,” I was stunned.

And this immediately raised for me other questions: Is Philadelphia the only place where bishops are not in compliance? Can we trust the bishops to follow their own directives and guidelines? Is there need for someone to enforce compliance with the Dallas Charter?

So, we at Interfaith Voices turned to our “go to” authority on this subject, none other than Tom Roberts. What I love most about this interview is the “feeling” he injects into it. He expresses the dismay that most of us have felt ever since this scandal broke widely in Boston in 2002.

To hear my interview with Tom Roberts, click here. The interview begins at 22 minutes, 28 seconds.

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