Announcement from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia following the grand jury report

As an initial response to the Grand Jury Report, Cardinal Justin Rigali announces the following actions which he has taken recently:

1. The Archdiocese has once again retained the services of Mary Achilles as a Consultant to the Archdiocese to advise Cardinal Justin Rigali regarding how best to address the needs of victims of sexual abuse and to assist in our review of the observations and recommendations of the Grand Jury Report. Ms. Achilles, who previously served as a Consultant to the Archdiocese from 2006 through 2008, was appointed by former Governor Tom Ridge as the first-ever Victim Advocate for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Prior to this, Ms. Achilles worked in a variety of capacities including fourteen years in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

2. Cardinal Rigali has created a new position, Delegate for Investigations, which will now be a separate office distinct from the Office of Child and Youth Protection. The Delegate’s responsibility will begin at the time an allegation of sexual abuse is received and continue until the presentation of the Archdiocesan Review Board’s recommendation to the Archbishop. The Delegate’s responsibility will also include immediate reporting to civil authorities upon receipt of an allegation, as is our practice for all allegations whether current or historical. In cases where, for any reason, the civil authorities do not investigate, the Delegate will oversee the Archdiocesan investigation.

3. Cardinal Rigali has hired Joseph A. Cronin, Jr., J.D., Ph.D., to serve in the recently created position in the Office for Clergy, the Clergy Support Associate. Dr. Cronin’s primary responsibility is to assist the Vicar for Clergy in ensuring the compliance of priests in the active ministry with the Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries. Dr. Cronin brings a wealth of clinical experience in behavioral health. Since October 2008 he has served as the Program Coordinator for the Prayer and Penance Program where he oversees the supervision and treatment of priests who have been permanently removed from ministry and live a supervised life of prayer and penance. Prior to working with the Archdiocese, Dr. Cronin, a licensed psychologist, worked in private practice as well as in a variety of management positions in non-profit and for-profit behavioral health corporations.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will continue its review of the Grand Jury Report’s observations and recommendations.