It took a David v. Goliath fight to get names of Catholic abusers released | READER COMMENTARY

Baltimore Sun [Baltimore MD]

September 14, 2023

Thanks to The Baltimore Sun’s Lee O. Sanderlin for his excellent article regarding the release of more redacted names from the Attorney General’s Report on clergy abuse and cover-up in the Archdiocese of Baltimore (“Judge orders most Catholic Church names made public in Maryland AG report, calls for ‘more transparency, not less,’” Aug. 22). But there is another story here that screams to be told: David slew Goliath, with a sling and a stone.

Last year, Attorney General Brian Frosh petitioned the Circuit Court to release his report, but to leave the names of the accused out (redacted). Two brave victims who are well-known for leading the way, Jean Wehner and Teresa Lancaster, refused to let those names be hidden from the public. Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center was there to help.

On behalf of Jean and Teresa, we filed a motion to release the report with all of the names intact. For many months, we stood alone in that request.

Then the Jenner Law Firm, and the law firm of Grant & Eisenhofer, joined on behalf of survivors in our request to release the names. And newly elected Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown joined as well.

This is why survivors need to stand up and fight. And this is why Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center fights for them. Without the voice of victims, there is a lack of moral symmetry and justice. Survivors need to follow the example of these amazing women. Stand up and fight back. Draw on their courage. If you can see them, you can be them. And a just world desperately needs more of them. We are here to help.

— Kurt Wolfgang, Upper Marlboro

The writer is executive director of the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center.