Catholic cardinal joins call for safer streets
Feb 22, 2006
The city of Philadelphia is one of the most dangerous places in America.
PHILADELPHIA (CNS, 2/17/2006) – In 2005, 380 murders were committed in Philadelphia – up from 330 the previous year. That is four times the national homicide rate. So far, 2006 is not showing improvement.
On a rainy afternoon in early February, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia threw his support behind the city administration's "Operation Safe Streets" – engaging faith-based communities in the fight against violence.
Speaking at a well-attended community meeting at St. Charles Borromeo Church in South Philadelphia, the cardinal said, "The elimination of violence means we – all of us – must change our hearts. We must educate others, and the church is going to continue to do that.
"There is no way in the world we can accept violence for any human being," the cardinal said Feb. 4. "The cause of peace is the cause of the future. It is the cause of our society, and the cause of our children."
St. Charles was the last stop in a whirlwind speaking campaign at six churches by Philadelphia Mayor John Street, Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson and an entourage of other city officials. With the cardinal at St. Charles was Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Maginnis.