Prayer vigil held in wake of sex abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic Church

- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is seeking healing in the wake of the sex abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic Church. A prayer service in Center City is now underway.

“I think it's important that we respond with faith and we respond with prayer," said Kathy McGovern. She and her husband Tom are attending a vigil tonight at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to pray for the catholic church in the wake of child sex abuse at the hands of clergy and for healing of the victims.

"We're praying not only for the sins of the clergy but for our own sins, for sexual sins and for any potential cover up in the future. It's just a coming clean," said McGovern.  The prayer vigil started at five o’clock this evening and will continue through midnight.  After the main service people can come throughout the night for personal prayer.

"They want to be able to express their sorrow and their feeling," said Sister Virginia Varallo.

The vigil follows a Pennsylvania grand jury report last month involving six dioceses reported to have covered up decades of child sex abuse involving more than a thousand children and hundreds of priests.  Philadelphia was not part of this particular report.

"To all of us to be more honest about the way we live the gospel and keep the commandment," said Father Dennis Gill.

Arthur Baselice Junior stood outside with a picture of his son who committed suicide at 26 years old in 2006.  He says two priests in the northeast abused his son for years.

"This is something I have to live with every day and until they enact the survivor window for victims of abuse this will continue to go on," he said. Baselice says security and police said he couldn't stand in front of the Basilica and escorted him across the street.

"There shows you the compassion for the victims," he said.

We requested several times to speak with Archbishop Chaput about the previous grand jury reports and the vigil tonight.  A spokesperson said the vigil was scheduled by the parish for an evening when he was outside of Philadelphia and that he would not be able to be here. 

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