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Baltimore's Catholic archdiocese 'does not object' to release of report detailing sexual abuse, so long as it is accurate

Lee O. Sanderlin, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Religious News

Some of the victims were young enough to be in preschool.

The archdiocese’s statement came after a group of sexual abuse survivors and their supporters gathered Friday to demand the report’s public release.

Standing in the shadows of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and across the street from the Baltimore Basilica, the nation’s first Roman Catholic Cathedral, members of the Maryland chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, called on Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori to support the report’s release.

“I am concerned that the archdiocese is setting itself up to resist the release of the report because they’re saying it would be too painful,” said Maryland SNAP President David Lorenz, referencing a letter Lori sent to area Catholics acknowledging the attorney general’s finding. Lorenz’s statements came before the church’s announcement.

Lori’s Thursday evening letter, meant for the approximately 486,000 Catholics who comprise the Baltimore archdiocese, was filled with profuse apology, and also with language seemingly meant to cast doubt on the soundness of the attorney general’s findings.

“Sadly, we know horrifyingly well the enormity of the grievous harm caused to individuals, families and entire communities from our past experience of publicly naming the 152 priests and brothers we believe have abused children,” Lori wrote.

 

In another section of the letter, Lori wrote that the attorney general’s report “may reopen wounds or feel as an inadequate or incomplete account of justice.”

Survivors gathered Friday said if Lori were interested in transparency, he could direct the church to release the report itself. Lorenz also said the archdiocese’s claims of cooperation with the attorney general’s office come off as disingenuous.

“The archdiocese is basically taking a victory lap for complying with a subpoena from the attorney general,” Lorenz said. “They need to take action.”

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(Baltimore Sun reporter Jonathan M. Pitts contributed to this article.)

©2022 The Baltimore Sun. Visit at baltimoresun.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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