David McGrath's Dec. 13 column, "Add racism to church's sex-abuse scandals," certainly portrayed a horrific scandal. Sending the worst priests out to Native American reservations or into inner cities to work with Blacks is spiritually criminal. There is no question about that at all.
However, it should be noted that the instances cited in the column were from decades ago. In fact, the column may mislead readers into thinking something recently happened with the Dioceses of Phoenix and Lafayette In Louisiana by saying, "As recently as Oct. 2, a lawsuit was filed by a Navajo man.” That was a lawsuit that was filed, but note this important point about the priest at the center of the lawsuit: "Grear had been removed from Indiana and sent to the school on the Navajo Reservation after a parent reported he was abusing children … in 1975." So while the suit was filed in October, the abuse was alleged to have happened some 40 to 45 years ago.
Instances cited in the column happened as long as 70 years ago. No, that doesn't make it any better, and no, it doesn't mean it can't or doesn’t happen today. What it does mean is the column didn’t provide any proof it’s happening today, meaning it was all a rehash and not news. Rehashing old news is not what newspapers should be doing.
Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz