End of an era for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA - September 4, 2011 The Catholic church in Philadelphia celebrated its final Sunday mass under the leadership of Cardinal Justin Rigali. Rigali has served as Archbishop since 2003, the same year he was elevated to Cardinal. Parishioners have mixed feelings regarding his departure. "He didn't do anything, he just went along with the system. He was not a strong person. I think he was decent. I think he was a good person he just wasn't going to butt the system," Theresa Heinsler. Former Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaput will be taking over Rigali's position. "It's time for a new guard. I think the new Archbishop from Denver speaks his mind. He's clear, and probably more conservative than most North Americans think," said Mike Peron. The incoming leader says he hopes to resolve the cases of dozens of priests suspended in connection with a wide-ranging sex abuse probe as "promptly as it can be done." Archbishop Chaput, who takes over the 1.5-million-member diocese next week, tells news outlets that his decisions on the suspended priests will be painful no matter what he decides. Some parishioners are looking forward to the change. "It's time for a change. I'm looking forward to the rules being followed. If you make a pledge to celibacy as a priest it must be kept," said MaryAnn Filipella. In March, Cardinal Rigali suspended dozens of priests who had allegedly abused minors or engaged in other misconduct. Now, those cases will fall to his successor. Chaput will be installed in a formal ceremony Thursday. The Associated Press contributed to this article.