Many Thanks to John D. Feerick

Professor John D. Feerick, former dean of the Fordham Law School, wrote the following letter to the editor of the New York Times last week, in response to their “Church Whistle-Blowers” article.  As far as I can tell, the Times has not published the letter, but it was so good, I asked for his permission to share it with you.  My thanks to him for his insightful observations and for his allowing me to publish the letter here.

To The Editor:

Laurie Goldstein’s article, “Church Whistle-Blowers Join Forces on Abuse”, [May 20], prompts me to recall my service from 2002 to 2007, by appointment of Edward Cardinal Egan, as a member of a committee in the Archdiocese of New York asked to examine allegations of child abuse against priests.  I devoted, as did other members, considerable time to this responsibility.  We carefully reviewed allegations of abuse and made recommendations to the Cardinal of appropriate action.  I experienced how rigorously and diligently each case was handled by the staff and committee.  I also participated with the committee in making certain that the Archdiocese had in place a strong policy encouraging anyone with an allegation to report it to the proper civil authorities and had protocols with the District Attorneys in all 10 counties of the Archdiocese to handle such cases.  I found this work to be exceedingly difficult but was proud of the steps taken by my Church and the independence it gave to the committee.

John D. Feerick,
Professor of Law and former dean of Fordham Law School

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4 Responses to “Many Thanks to John D. Feerick”

  1. Irene says:

    I would like to add my thanks to Prof Feerick and the members of the Archdiocesan Review Board as well as to the Church Whistleblowers group for all of their efforts to help keep our children safe. We all need to be vigilant in protecting our children; thank you for your work.

  2. DottyDay says:

    A few weeks back you gave the Elizabeth Seton award to Anna Marie Chavez CEO of the Girl Scouts. I think (I hope) it reflects just a incomplete about the work of the GSA.

    I am sending a link for you and your advisors regarding how compromised GSA seems to be when it comes to abortion. Along with the BSA, our Church must address how tried and true traditional organizations for young people seem to be in a quagmire of wickedness. Perhaps we should warn of millstones rather than heap praise?

    This is the other side of the GSA for your review:

  3. Joe Nichols says:

    Though I am not a fan of Cardinal Dolan, I must agree that Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Egan and most of the bishops, have done a superb job of investigating complaints. The Bishop of Ogdensburg, NY is perhaps the most involved and caring and fair Bishop in the Country! These proceedings are victim oriented, thorough and full of pastoral care. I have been on our Committee in the Diocese of Ogdensburg for many years, and the Bishop has insisted that a very wide range of people are on the commitee with all sorts of areas of expertise, including parents, women, physicians, judges, lawyers, and other people from all walks of life. It is sad that Cardinal Dolan and other Bishops are getting a bad rap on this issue. Cardinal Dolan should be lauded for his honest and Christ-like work with these victims of vile abuse by religious. Though he can be criticized for pandering to the rich and famous, he has always worked hard to be a champion for the victims of sexual abuse.

  4. Irene says:

    For the sake of clarity, the conference DottyDay is talking about above is sponsored by Women Delivers, a global health initiative aimed at reducing the 300,000 pregnancy-related deaths of women and girls that takes place each year.

    The participating organization was WAGGGS, the global Girl Guide/Girl Scout organization which represents the national scouting organizations of 145 countries. True, Girl Scouts USA is one of those 145 affiliates (as is every Girl Scout/Girl Guide organization in the world) but it was WAGGGS participating in the conference, not Girl Scouts USA. In other countries, especially developing ones, where pregnancy-related deaths are major problems, Girl Guide programs often go up to age twenty-five and it is not unreasonable for young women of that age to participate in conferences on maternal/child health.

    Folks may still find Women Delivers objectionable, but it is important to get the facts straight and understand what it is you’re objecting to.

    It is such a shame that a few groups with their own agenda have been constantly attacking the Girl Scouts. Girl Scouting does such wonderful things for girls here in the USA and trying to undermine them for political reasons is not only unfair but only hurts the girls Girl Scouts is trying to serve.