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Lori can help atone for the racism of past

Rev. William E. Lori, the Archbishop of Baltimore, speaking from the pulpit as the celebrant for Cardinal William H. Keeler's funeral mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen last year.
Rev. William E. Lori, the Archbishop of Baltimore, speaking from the pulpit as the celebrant for Cardinal William H. Keeler's funeral mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen last year. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Archbishop William E. Lori should be congratulated for reminding us of the non-violent principles set forth by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (“Baltimore archbishop’s letter touts King’s nonviolence principles as message for Lent,” Feb. 14). We need to be reminded of these principles as Baltimore is grappling with nationally reported violence, crime and police corruption.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has been complicit in the sin of racism, as many Catholic-sponsored institutions were segregated. We need to look within to determine where we went wrong so that we can do better in the future. Archbishop Lori is a very effective writer and speaker, but he has not been a great leader for our Archdiocese. We need action from our faith leaders. Catholics really need to atone for the sins of the past by making reparation. We actually need to do things to improve our city.

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Archbishop Lori is the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, a national association of Catholic laymen who engage in philanthropic endeavors. Archbishop Lori should use his clout to raise money to reopen parochial schools in the inner city of Baltimore. I firmly believe that the closure of so many schools in the inner city was part of an ongoing racist pattern in the Archdiocese. In the past when Baltimore Catholics saw a need, they supported it. Inner city parochial schools operated under the radar while the Archdiocese supported other priorities.These schools were allowed to die with the Archdiocese providing little justification for its failure to support these schools.

As a gesture of good will and with the need to make reparation, I hope that Archbishop Lori will develop a plan to reopen Catholic schools in the inner city. I expect the Archdiocese to set an example by investing in the future of our city. We must start making better decisions. The leadership of the Archdiocese needs to be held accountable.

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Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

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