Maine Bishop Must Be a Lot More Forthcoming
Maine Press Herald [Portland]
Downloaded August 6, 2003
Letter to the Editor
Regarding the story, "Milestone for Maine Catholics, " July 26th:
When asked if Bishop Joseph Gerry will make public the names of the 51 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors (33 are still living), the Bishop's spokesperson said, according to the story, "The names of suspects in serious crimes aren't released unless they are formally charged through indictments."
Wait a minute. Bishop Gerry knows where 33 accused sexual offenders are living and he's not telling anyone? He's not warning parents that the man who lives next door might hurt their child?
As a Catholic, I am embarrassed by Bishop Gerry's ongoing reluctance to provide a clear and forceful response to the clergy sexual abuse scandal in my church.
How can we fix the problem until we know what the problem is?
All we know is that 51 priests have received allegations of sexual abuse of minors. We don't know how many victims there are. We don't know how many allegations each priest received. We don't know which parishes are involved. We don't know the extent to which sexually abusive priests were transferred from parish to parish.
Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston has stated that when confronted with conflicting points of view, he concerns himself with one thing only - what is his moral obligation? Innocent children are not prepared to protect themselves from charming, friendly and persuasive sexual molesters.
Bishop Gerry has a dangerous secret. He knows the names and addresses of 33 accused child molesters. Quite frankly, I don't know how he sleeps at night.
Paul T. Kendrick
Co-Founder, Maine Voice of the Faithful
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