O’Malley has unfinished business here in Boston

June 12, 2010

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IN “THE pope’s pro’’ (Op-ed, June 3), Joan Vennochi rightly describes Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s responses to clergy sexual abuse as a “push and pull between the old forces of secrecy and the new pressure for transparency.’’ In March 2009, the cardinal publicly stated that “in the very near future’’ the Archdiocese of Boston would revise its policy on “disclosing information about accused clergy and the status of cases against them.’’ Fifteen months later, despite urgings from child advocates and abuse victims, and the fact that two dozen other bishops have released this information, we in Boston still wait.

The cardinal’s new Vatican assignment to help Ireland address its clergy sex scandal should prompt him to resolve unfinished business in his own archdiocese. He must release now the names of all proven, admitted, or credibly accused archdiocesan priests, religious order priests and brothers, deacons, and nuns, whether living or deceased. Included must be the allegations against them, how many children were proven or alleged victims, the names of parishes and schools to which they were assigned, their current whereabouts, and any Vatican orders regarding their laicization or restrictions in their duties. The names of credibly accused people transferred here from Ireland and other countries must also be included.

We agree with the cardinal that “the church must be unfailingly vigilant in protecting children and young people.’’ Parents and guardians also want to be vigilant against the threat of child sexual abuse.

Jetta Bernier
Executive director Massachusetts Citizens for Children Boston

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