Right wrongs, don’t cover them up

In failing to consider my Aug. 30 letter to the editor for publication (i.e. Justice 101), I might assume that The Catholic Review is not interested in historical correctness on the church’s “common teaching” about slavery prior to Vatican II. Personally, I would much prefer to see The Catholic Review acknowledge the church’s humanity and willingness to right a wrong than see it cover up, so to speak, centuries of condoning a dehumanizing practice under certain conditions.
In the early days of the church Paul chastised Peter for his attitude about gentiles and as a result the church changed for the better. It appears that it took the rise of secular humanism to change the church’s common teaching on slavery. Recently the church revised its teaching on the “death penalty” to be even more restrictive in its application than before – a move in the right direction. It is only now beginning to realize that covering up the sins of misguided priests can be costly in terms of both dollars and believers.
Cover ups do more damage than good. Confession and repentance constitute the high road and those that openly admit past mistakes and correct their behavior set an example we all should follow.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.