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