Rigali Refuses to Meet with Abuse Victims

St. Louis Post-Dispatch [St. Louis MO]
October 5, 2003

St. Louis Archbishop Justin Rigali refused one last time to meet with a clergy-abuse victims group, saying he was too busy before he moves to Philadelphia on Monday.

On Thursday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests sent a letter to Rigali, requesting a meeting on Sunday. On Saturday, Rigali responded that his "schedule is completely filled" for the last two days he will be in St. Louis before becoming archbishop of Philadelphia.

David Clohessy, the network's national director, said he was disappointed at Rigali's response but not surprised.

"He's had nearly a decade to meet with us. We have never, ever met with him or his auxiliaries. But all across the country other bishops have met with our members," Clohessy said.

Other officials in the archdiocese will meet with network representatives, Rigali said in his letter. The archbishop, recently appointed a cardinal, said he would meet with clergy-abuse victims in Philadelphia.

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