PHILADELPHIA — The head of the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s panel on priest sex abuse has assailed the cardinal’s response to the pedophilia crisis and drawn back the curtain on the panel’s secret operations.
Cardinal Justin Rigali and his bishops “failed miserably at being open and transparent,’’ review board chairwoman Ana Maria Catanzaro wrote this week in the lay Catholic magazine Commonweal.
“What will it take for bishops to accept that their attitude of superiority and privilege only harms their image and the church’s?’’ she wrote. The diocese had no comment yesterday.
A Philadelphia grand jury criticized the panel and church officials this year for leaving dozens of problem priests in the ministry. But Catanzaro said the lay board was never informed about most of them because the archdiocese screened which cases they reviewed.
The grand jury charged two priests, an ex-priest, and a teacher with rape, and a monsignor with endangering children through priest transfers. All have denied the charges.