I just want to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” for your most articulate expression of support, and belief of a victim in a case with little hard evidence [The benefit of the doubt, Ken Trainor, Viewpoints, Aug. 20]. As a survivor of clergy sexual abuse by another priest once highly regarded within our community, who admitted what he had done to church officials, yet was returned to ministry so as to avoid scandal, I know in many cases, not all, church officials know far more than they ever admit. 

The priest who abused my younger brother and I is still officially a priest. He was simply allowed to retire and now has a nice cushy job working for the state. He continues to get paid his pension by the archdiocese from where he came (even after I told an auxiliary bishop of his abuse decades ago). At the time I informed this bishop, they were required under state law to report him to authorities; they did not, not until after the statute of limitations had expired and he could not go to prison for these crimes. 

I just want you to understand how much you really have helped other victims by showing that we survivors of clergy abuse really can be believed, even when the man who abused may have done so much good. That’s what makes it particularly difficult for the victim, trying to sort out what might have been at one point a very positive, supportive figure in one’s life, only to learn that really he had another self-serving motive all along. 

Again thank you for your frank assessment and difficult realization that this woman is most likely telling the truth.

Mark Crawford 

New Jersey

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