Much of commentary following the death of Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua was unfair, beginning with the Catholic News Service. Never once in its article did it mention that he was never indicted for any alleged infraction. Oh, they tried.
In 2005, the Philadelphia District Attorney, Lynne Abraham, smeared Bevilacqua in public with a grand jury report, but came up empty: she knew from the get-go that nothing could be done because of this “civil liberties technicality” called the statute of limitations. Moreover, when the first grand jury was empaneled in 2001, it was charged with investigating “the sexual abuse of minors by individuals associated with religious organizations and denominations.” But Abraham ignored this charge and focused exclusively on the Catholic Church. We wrote to her on March 31, 2011 asking her to explain which “religious organizations and denominations” she investigated besides the Roman Catholic Church. She refused to respond.
In 2011, another grand jury decided not to press charges against Cardinal Bevilacqua because they didn’t have the evidence needed to convict.
The vilifying of Bevilacqua, only hours after his death, was most definitely unwarranted.