Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 10:37 am
A group affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement is planning a national conference in Philadelphia this summer. According to the group, which is dubbed "The 99% Declaration," an online election will decide on the 876 delegates — a man and woman from each Congressional district — who will gather in Philadelphia on July 4th.
Of course, the date and place is a nod to the delegates who met in Philadelphia in 1776 to declare independence from the British monarchy, who the founding fathers said had failed to address the grievances of Americans.
The Vatican has appointed an outspoken archbishop to lead the troubled Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Charles Chapu of Denver will move to Philadelphia in September. He succeeds Cardinal Justin Rigali, who has been criticized for the way he's handled child sex abuse allegations.
A couple of years ago, the Philadelphia archdiocese heard about three priests who had allegedly raped two boys. It gave the priests' files to law enforcement, and a grand jury began to investigate. Then, the grand jury stumbled on a bombshell. A church employee testified that there were many other priests the panel should know about.
"The grand jury found that a policy of zero tolerance was not actually in effect," says District Attorney Seth Williams, "and that there were many priests that had allegations made against them that were still in active ministry."
The archbishop of Philadelphia has suspended 21 priests connected to allegations of child sex abuse, the latest in a series of actions by the archdiocese to deal with findings in a disturbing grand jury report released last month.
The grand jury report accused a monsignor, three priests and a parochial schoolteacher of abusing kids or failing to prevent abuse by others. It also said that as many as 37 priests remained in active ministry with allegations or reports of inappropriate behavior or sexual abuse of minors.