Local faithful react to church abuse scandal
CENTER CITY - March 28, 2010 (WPVI) -- Pope Benedict and the Vatican are being criticized for not rooting out priests who molested children.
While the current crisis is centered in Europe, the faithful here in our area are also looking for answers.
At the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City Philadelphia, Archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali performed the blessing of the palms. It's a symbolic emblem of the palms used by Christians commemorating Jesus Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. It's also the start of the Church's Holy Week which includes the Good Friday re-enactment of Christ's crucifixion and death, and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
But this year, the most solemn week on the Catholic Calendar has been stained by questions about the Pope Benedict's own handling on pedophile priests and the Vatican acknowledging it's moral credibility was on the line.
For some people the topic was too sensitive to comment on. Others, however, were clearly disturbed.
"It's sad because you trust those people, the Priests. You think they are trying to keep you safe, but they're not," said Christina Hawkins of Egg Harbor Twp., N.J.
"They need to have a big conference, a national and international conference to bring all pedophiles out of the church. Basically they need to do a complete purge of the church," said William Check of Center City.
Others were finding it hard to believe that this matter has been allowed to fester for so long and now finding its way to the Pope's doorstep.
"They should have taken care of this a long time ago," said Ann Malkinski of Parsipiny, New Jersey.
Others want to reserve judgment until all is heard.
"It's unfortunate if it is true, but I just have to trust that things will be worked out," said Franz Spohn of Center City.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, church abuse, local/state, dann cuellar
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