Rigali calls on Catholics to pray for abuse victims

After the arrests of three priests and a parochial-school teacher on rape charges, and a monsignor who failed to effectively monitor clergy behavior, Cardinal Justin Rigali called on Catholics to pray for the sex-abuse victims this weekend.

His words came via video message days after a grand-jury report stated at least 37 credibly accused priests still actively serve, but statutes of limitations prevent charges. “New reports of abuse continue to come in,” the report stated.

Rigali announced an “initial response” in which the consultant for the Archdiocese during a previous abuse scandal will advise on “how best to address the needs of victims of sexual abuse and to assist in our review of the [grand jury’s] observations and recommendations.” A newly created Delegate for Investigations position will oversee “immediate reporting to civil authorities upon receipt of an allegation,” and a clergy support associate will work to ensure active priests comply with the “Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries.”

“As Catholics we are hurt and confused, and perhaps even quite angry. … We pray that [victims] will truly know they do not stand alone,” Rigali said.