Letter: Covering up crimes against children is a horrible evil

To the Editor:

I was born and raised in a strict Catholic home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After attending an eight year parochial school, I attended North Catholic High School and graduated in 1986. There was one priest from my parochial school who was not only named in the report made by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury, but later charged and convicted of child molestation in a different country. In addition, there were at least three people named in the Grand Jury Report who taught at North Catholic. Two of them were there when I was a student. I am deeply offended by the letter written by Jerry Sulli. I can say without equivocation that there is no doubt in the minds of myself or the majority of my fellow alumni about what went on at North Catholic. Indeed, several years ago, well before the report came out, there was an outcry when the school changed its name to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School. It is some small consolation to all of us that his name has been permanently removed from the school in the wake of this scandal. Finally, I must mention that tragically, in the past year, one of the victims from my school who attended North Catholic while I was there took his own life after the Diocese of Pittsburgh declined to continue paying for his counseling.

I am a mandated reporter. If I, in my professional capacity, have a reasonable suspicion that a child is being harmed in any way, I am legally bound to report that to the authorities. The opposite of this happened in the Catholic Church. Not only were the crimes not reported, they were systematically covered up. To gloss this over and act as if there is any excuse at all is a not only a grave insult to the victims, in my mind, it borders on evil. And, I would suggest, it is not what Jesus would do.

Anne McDermott

Topstone Road, Sept. 20