Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali acknowledged the "pain and suffering" of those who had been abused by priests, but also lashed out at a grand jury report that he said unjustly criticized his predecessors and other members of the diocese.
The two-page letter from Rigali was tucked inside every parish bulletin in every church in the Philadelphia archdiocese on Sunday.
Rigali was not the only one distributing letters related to the grand jury report, which documented 63 cases of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests in the archdiocese.
Members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and Other Clergy, known as SNAP, also distributed a letter at several Philadelphia churches. That letter urged anyone who was sexually abused by a member of the clergy to call the district attorney's office or SNAP.