Memorial at St. Andrew’s would protect children

October 5, 2007
By

In regard to the article in the Sept. 21 JP Gazette, I think St. Andrew’s Church property should be a historic site for all victims of sexual abuse by the clergy. Any letters and books which pertain to the clergy’s abuse of minors should be part of this historical monument. This will then give the victims recognition of the sexual abuse by the clergy whom we should have been able to trust with our children.

Only then will the victims of Massachusetts be able to finally go forward with their healing and have a much better future. Those who cannot speak about their abuse will then have a place they can go to have solace and see that they are not alone. Maybe then they will be able to deal with their pain and inner insecurity. I also feel the archdiocese should be held accountable for all of the cover-ups they did for decades. I also feel that any priest who molested any children should not only be completely and utterly defrocked and ousted from the church but also be registered as a sex offender.

As a Protestant, I don’t understand why the archdiocese moved priests accused of sexual abuse from one church to another, saying that they were cured. There is no cure for pedophilia now, and there never will be a cure. The priests seemed to pick maybe five vulnerable children out of 20. I am furious at the thought that the archdiocese felt they had to just keep letting priests molest children. I am even more outraged knowing these priests were in my neighborhood and around my children and others who were vulnerable who could have and probably were some of their victims.

Through the work of Boston newspapers, I got an education and awareness, like thousands of others, that leads me to believe that the Catholic Church needs libraries and other spots where documents that record this terrible history would be kept in order to protect children now and in the future.

We must make St. Andrew’s a historic site for all Massachusetts victims of Catholic Church clergy sexual abuse. It is clear to me that it should be at St. Andrew’s because the letter written by Marge Gallant to Cardinal Humberto Madeiros about her seven nephews being victims there later showed that church higher-ups knew about priest John Geoghan’s sexually molesting children as early as 1982.

Wanda Last
Jamaica Plain