March 02, 2006

Letter chastises cardinal on abuse case

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear, Tribune staff reporter. Freelance writer Joseph Ruzich contributed to this report
Published March 2, 2006

A psychologist chosen by America's Roman Catholic bishops to address them about the clergy sex-abuse crisis when it erupted four years ago sent a scathing letter to Cardinal Francis George this week, suggesting he might be considered "an accessory to soul murder" for letting Rev. Daniel McCormack remain in ministry after being accused of abuse.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, who spoke at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Dallas in June 2002, suggested in a letter that George remove his pectoral cross for Lent, which began Wednesday, and replace it with a faux millstone.

"Jesus was so clear--anyone who harmed a child should tie a millstone around his neck and drown himself in the sea," she wrote. "Lake Michigan is rather chilly at this time of year. Surely, however, you could choose symbolically to embrace the Gospel instructions."

"The revelations of the past week ... appear to signal a return to the pre-Dallas pattern of protecting an alleged priest-perpetrator and the institution while endangering children," the letter said. "Only complete openness and transparency can restore your credibility and our confidence."

Posted by kshaw at March 2, 2006 06:11 AM