Catholic Church fails to embrace accountability for child abuse past

Letter to the Editor: Baltimore Sun

Reader Commentary

Read the Baltimore Sun Paper article here or here

Archbishop William Lori’s statement that “our shameful past is indeed, in the past” in his recent commentary published in The Baltimore Sun (”Baltimore archbishop: ‘The Church of today is not the Church described by the attorney general.’ Here’s what’s changed.” Dec. 20) shows us all, especially survivors of clergy child sexual abuse, just how little he and the Church understand the nature of what this type of abuse does to an individual, their loved ones and their community.

If the Church truly wanted to atone for the “sins of the fathers,” we would be hearing from trauma experts the likes of psychologist and author Christine A. Courtois or Bessel van der Kolk, who wrote “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.” These experts in this field would be educating the Baltimore Archdiocese, and the Church in general, on why this type of trauma is not something that stays “in the past” for survivors.

We, the survivors, live with the effects of this horror every day, and until the Catholic Church truly appreciates the need for reconciliation and accountability, this festering wound cannot heal.

— Jean Hargadon Wehner, Elkridge