The horrific account of priests’, bishops’ and cardinals’ behavior over decades in the Catholic Church was very difficult to read (“Pa. report on abuse names Keeler,” Aug. 15). It is beyond sad how many children were victimized and how many lives of families were ruined by the ungodly behavior of Catholic clergymen. The fact that Archbishop of Baltimore, William Lori, has decided to remove former Cardinal William Keeler’s name from the new Catholic school planned for opening in West Baltimore is clearly more than the right thing to do.
One way to begin healing is to rename the planned school for Mother Mary Lange, the founder of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, an order of African American nuns here in Baltimore. The Oblates have cared responsibly for children since 1829, when they began teaching the children of slaves how to read. Naming the school for her makes a strong statement about acknowledging the contributions of Black Catholics in Baltimore, despite longstanding racial prejudice by the church and honors the appropriate way to interact with children not evidenced by the “religious” men cited in the Pennsylvania grand jury report.
The road to healing from the godawful abuse of children and the cover-ups is a long one. Naming the school for Mother Lange is just a very tiny step in that direction. The Catholic Church has much more to do to be fixed.
Ralph E. Moore, Jr., Baltimore
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