My uncle, a deceased priest now accused of abuse, can’t defend himself

Washington Post

April 28, 2019

Regarding the April 25 Metro article “Baltimore Archdiocese names more priests accused of abuse, all deceased”:

My uncle’s name appeared on the list of priests accused of sexual abuse issued last week by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. I would like to call him and ask him what I should think about this, but he died in 1981. Where is the fairness in publicly defaming men who are not here to defend themselves?

The law says a dead person cannot be defamed. But the damage to his reputation and to his memory is very real. The American Catholic Church failed miserably in its handling of this scandal, in its secrecy and its blind allegiance to the priest abusers. But it is no less a failure to throw out to the public the names of people who were not proved to have committed these crimes and who have no chance to be heard.

I am trying to be the voice my uncle was denied. To those who knew and loved the Rev. Regis F. Larkin, I urge you not to be influenced by this list. Remember the easygoing guy with the great sense of humor and brilliant way with words. Those are the memories he deserves.

And to the people who participated in the decision to list my uncle, I hope you understand that you have just increased the length of the list of people who are victims of this scandal.

Maureen Loftus Hogel, Pittsburgh

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