Regarding Baltimore Archdiocese Vice-Chancellor Sean Caine's recent letter justifying the church's response to allegations of child sexual abuse, I am glad that in 1993 Maryland's attorney general made it clear that all abuse cases should be reported ("Archdiocese acted responsibly," Dec. 2). So much for the Catholic Church being a moral leader.
When I returned to the archdiocese in 1993 to again report the abuse I had suffered, it was through Fr. William Mannion. At that point I had been in touch with 17 other victims of John Merzbacher.
I was never contacted directly by the diocese. Instead I was sent a message from the diocese through Fr. Mannion: "The diocese is going to contact the police and give them your name only." Eventually I and the other victims reached out to an attorney, who contacted the Baltimore City police. They reported the crimes to the state's attorney's office.
The archdiocese knew full well of my fear of contacting the police on my own after the death threats I had received at gunpoint from Mr. Merzbacher. Nor did the diocese contact any other former Catholic Community Middle School students during this time.
For seven years after the trial of Mr. Merzbacher I wrote repeatedly to Cardinal William Keeler and the superintendent of Catholic Schools asking that Eileen Weisman be removed from her position as principal of the Cathedral School. It was only after I contacted the head of the lay board that action was finally taken to remove Ms. Weisman from her position. It wasn't until seven years after the Merzbacher trial that she was forced to resign, and not only
did the diocese allow her to retire but stood by while the parents at the school collected money to dedicate a playground in her name.
I can count on the Archdiocese of Baltimore attempting to rewrite history through their self-serving publications. But they will never rewrite the sad and tragic history of the rape and torture that I and so many other children endured at the hands of this serial child rapist in an eight-room, two-story Catholic schoolhouse.
Elizabeth Ann MurphyCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun