Scholarship Is Renamed to Break Its Link to Priest

By Jim Remsen
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 4, 2005

The Rev. Francis A. Giliberti was one of their benefactors. And, unbeknown to them, he was also a child molester.

In a postscript to the Philadelphia grand jury report on Catholic priest abuse, West Catholic High School officials have renamed the school's $100,000 Giliberti scholarship fund to distance it from the school's onetime chaplain, who was one of 63 priests identified as perpetrators in the report.

Brother Tim Ahern, the school's principal, said he told the 68-year-old priest last week that the name of the Giliberti Fund had become a problem. Giliberti - who lives under supervision in a church retirement home - agreed, but noted that he had endowed the money in his father's memory.

So the fund has been recast as the Michael and Anna Giliberti Scholarship Fund, in his parents' names. The school, which administers the fund, will still award scholarships from it to needy students - but no longer in the priest's name, which Ahern said would be "inappropriate" because of the credible abuse allegations.

"Now, it has no connection with Father Frank," Ahern said yesterday. "That's the most important thing."

The fund was a happy story about 17 years ago, when Giliberti bestowed it after winning a $1 million slots jackpot at the Trump Castle casino in Atlantic City.

Ahern said West Catholic officials were shocked to learn of Giliberti's long history of abusing boys, which the grand jury said included walking on boys as they masturbated. The church suspended Giliberti in 2004, two years after victims first stepped forward with complaints.

Giliberti could not be reached for comment at Villa St. Joseph in Darby. Archdiocesean spokeswoman Donna Farrell declined comment.

As the abuse scandal has unfolded around the country, dioceses have wrestled with whether to remove honors from clerics accused of wrongdoing.

The Philadelphia Archdiocese's two former archbishops, Cardinals John Krol and Anthony J. Bevilacqua, engineered extensive cover-ups of abuse, according to the grand jury. The archdiocese has a Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center in Kensington, and its seminary has a John Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology and a new Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua Theological Research Center.

Farrell said the archdiocese has gotten no complaints about those designations and has no plans to change them.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems