September 7, 2006
Carolyn Bloom, LCSW
Office of Support and Assistance Ministry
Diocese of Portland
Portland, Maine 04101
384 Court Street
Auburn ME 04210-4604
Dear Ms. Bloom,
By now, you have read enough of our group's letters and messages to know of our concerns regarding Bishop Richard Malone's failure to identify all priests, religious and church workers who have sexually abused children.
We are bewildered by your lack of action. You know that Bishop Malone is allowing children to be exposed to unidentified child molesters, yet you say and do nothing. We have never heard one word from you. Are you aware that our group's membership includes victims of clergy sexual abuse?
Please help us understand how a social worker such as yourself can have actual knowledge that child abusers are living anonymously in neighborhoods, that kids are at risk of being sexually abused, but take no action to help prevent these kids from being raped.
Sadly, we must conclude that if a child is sexually abused by any one of the child molesters that Bishop Malone is protecting, you will be complicit in the abuse by your silence.
I am sure you've asked yourself, "What can I do?" After all, you are not an employee of the diocese, rather, you are employed on a contract basis as an Independent Clinician for the Diocese of Portland Office of Support and Assistance Ministry.
You may say, "I have expressed my concerns about these issues to the bishop privately." In doing so, you're playing right into his hands. Of course, the bishop is pleased that you and others speak to him in hushed tones behind closed doors and say nothing to the public about your concerns. More secrecy. More abusers go unnoticed in neighborhoods.
According to the Diocese web site, your responsibilities are defined as follows:
"Providing support to victims/survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or other church representatives, creating support groups for those survivors who want something of that nature, arranging meetings for individual victims or groups of victims with the bishop as they request, and receiving first reports of allegations of abuse."
We are dismayed that there is nothing in your job description about "helping to prevent kids from being sexually abused." That task, it seems, is left to Bishop Malone and certain members of his executive staff.
We've told you over and over again that Bishop Malone is still protecting child molesters, that 1) he refuses to identify twenty or more priests who have been credibly accused of child abuse and 2) he refuses to tell us the whereabouts of another twenty priests, religious and church workers who have been removed from public ministry because of credible allegations. Where are they now? Do neighbors know of their history of abusing kids?
We must conclude then, Ms. Bloom, that the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Professional Code of Ethics provides you with enough latitude to be employed by (albeit on a contract basis) and accept money from an employer who is covering up for child molesters and endangering children.
What can you do?
-- You can resign from your position immediately.
-- You can schedule a press conference with victims of clergy sexual abuse and members of child protection agencies to announce that you refuse to work for an employer whose willful negligence is placing children at risk of sex abuse.
-- You can become a public voice and advocate for the release of the names of clergy child molesters here in Maine and nationwide.
I hope you will contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.
207 838 1319