Letter to the Editor: Re: "University Investigates Alleged Molester," Sept. 20
October 1, 2012
It was with a sense of relief that I read (“University Investigates Alleged Molester,” 9/20/12) both of President Burcham’s decision to undertake an investigation into all aspects of the 15-year presence on our campus of alleged sexual predator Brother William Farrington, S. J. and of the President’s commitment to making public the results of this investigation.
My tenure does not overlap with that of Farrington, who was a staff member from 1987-2002. I cannot, therefore, take responsibility for his perhaps dangerous and damaging presence on our campus. I do, however, assume a shared responsibility for the way in which our University responds to the information about Farrington that has only lately been made available to the wider LMU community.
I thus wish to express my sympathies to any current or former members of our University community, as well as to their families and friends, who may have suffered on account of Farrington’s presence. I want, in addition, to express my outrage at the individuals who shielded from public view the accusations levied against Farrington prior to his LMU appointment and residency in the Jesuit Community. Whether or not the investigation of his presence at LMU turns out to yield the results we all fear, there is no sparing a sense of dismay at the fact that his coming to our University was at the least an imprudent decision on the part of those responsible for the move and at worst an unconscionable act of blatant disregard for the well being of LMU students.
As many of us know well, sexual abusers frequently target the already vulnerable and often muffle their voices in a cloak of silent shame. Let us not add to the sum of silence by failing to demand an accounting. At the very least, let us hope that our Jesuit Community or the California Province of the Jesuits will not only express publicly the sadness associated with the evidence thus far come to light, but also decry the structures that allowed Farrington to spend 15 years among our students.
Associate Professor, Department of Theological Studies
Roberto Dell’Oro, Professor, Theological Studies
Marie Anne Mayeski, Professor Emeritus, Theological Studies
Charlotte Radler, Associate Professor, Theological Studies
Thomas P. Rausch, S.J. , T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology, Theological Studies
Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, Professor, Theological Studies
Tracy Sayuki Tiemeier, Associate Professor, Theological Studies
John R. Connolly, Professor Emeritus, Theological Studies