Letter to the Editor - Portland Press Herald
Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
I’m saddened by the recent events in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, especially the inaction of Bishop Richard Malone.
As a spiritual leader, he should be an example of the virtues that brought him to his present position. His refusal to bear personal witness to the pain of a mother seeking justice for the unspeakable crimes committed against her son has caused more pain.
What is being asked is simple. I know this because I see it done on a daily basis. Sexual assault center advocates bring solace to people every day just by listening and validating.
In the 16 years of advocacy that I have provided, I have learned that those in leadership have the power to either contribute to healing or create more trauma for victims.
I have seen many leaders in this state be accountable by meeting with victims to answer questions and yes, provide the simple act of listening. It doesn’t mean that these leaders can always deliver on what is asked of them, in fact that rarely is the case.
What it does is much more powerful – it acknowledges and validates that the pain and suffering victims experience means something and is unjust.
Please, Bishop Malone, join the ranks of other leaders – DAs, attorneys general, police chiefs and school principals – and meet with Marie Tupper to bear witness to the pain and suffering of her family.
You can be a role model and rise upon your own discomfort to do what is right.
I know you can.
Executive DirectorSexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine