In response to Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien’s column, “Painful Lesson Learned” (CR, Nov. 24), I am grateful for his admission of the obvious similarities between the church and Penn State. I am grateful for the archbishop’s efforts to protect children in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. However, I take issue with his sweeping comments that credit the church as a whole for its sweeping institutional reforms.
Not every diocese has been as vigilant or compliant with its reforms to protect children. One has only to look at the recent cases in (the Diocese of) Kansas City-St. Joseph and Joliet, Ill., to see that transparency is still lacking. Not all bishops are as diligent as Archbishop O’Brien appears to have been. The church is far from transparent on this issue. I am also troubled by the words “credibly accused.” Who decides what is credible? This has been the issue all along.
We must not confuse an intellectual conversion with a moral conversion.
Editor’s note: Elizabeth Murphy was sexually abused at the Catholic Community School in Baltimore by John A. Merzbacher during the 1970s. Merzbacher, a teacher at the school, was sentenced to four consecutive life terms for his crimes. The Catholic Review wrote about Murphy in 2010.