Days after his heartfelt video message regarding the alleged sexual abuses by Philadelphia priests, Cardinal Justin Rigali has taken another step to ensure that no more victims will be harmed.
The city’s cardinal has ordered the immediate re-examination of all cases of concern to the grand jury. This includes the 37 active priests suspected of child sexual abuse.
In a statement, Rigali says that Gina Maisto Smith, J.D., will help with the archdiocese with the investigation. Smith is a former assistant district attorney in Philadelphia and, according to her current firm’s Web site, “dedicated fifteen years solely to sexual assault, from child abuse to acquaintance rape.”
Rigali has also charged Smith with reviewing “the procedures employed by the Archdiocese” and making proper recommendations.
The archdiocese has also placed three priests on administrative leave pending the review of their cases.
Rigali ends the release with a message of determination and action.
"Many people of faith and in the community at large think that the Archdiocese does not understand the gravity of child sexual abuse. We do. The task before us now is to recognize where we have fallen short and to let our actions speak to our resolve."