Regarding the Aug. 17 column entitled “Questions for Catholics,” I am writing to point out to readers that it is not a letter from a local Catholic but instead a reprint of a column from the Philadelphia Daily News by columnist John Baer, who by evidence of “self-hate” speech seems an exceedingly disgruntled Catholic, and one who sounds proud of it.

First, it is sad that our local newspaper chose to quote, in its entirety, the unnecessarily lurid details of salacious stories going back 70 years and more, to World War II even, when many accusers and their perpetrators are now both in their 80s and/or are either dead or untraceable. Despite Baer’s intent to discredit the Church, this is not “news,” but rather primarily centers on the period of 1962 to 1982, with another spike in the early 1990s, and therefore is old news presented as current events, which the culture of today calls “fake news.”

What is news, however, is that over the past quarter century the Catholic Church has made the kind of positive progress in change that has resulted in an average over the most recent two years of less than 0.005 percent of its clergy that experienced a substantiated claim, which would be a very low percentage for any other similar group, such as (other) churches, public schools, day care centers, etc., but unfortunately we don’t have access to the figures to compare to.

Left to imagine, I wonder what would happen if instead of “Questions for Catholics,” a column ever was headlined: “Questions for Protestants,” or “Jews” or, more provocatively, “Blacks” or “Latinos”?

For Baer, who intently implies he’s Catholic, scripture warns: “judge not lest ye be judged,” and “by the measure with which you judge, it shall be measured out to you.”

Richard Hyatt


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