Re: “Letter informed pope of priest-abuse cover-up” (Feb. 6, Page A3):

In the face of Pope Francis’ continued denial that he has seen evidence of either clerical sex abuse or of church leaders’ cover-up in Chile, Cardinal Sean O’Malley could do no better than emulate the example of his distant kinsman, Columbanus, an Irish missionary to Europe.

Columbanus, in the seventh century, chastised Pope Boniface IV for failing to provide leadership at another time of crisis. In 613 A.D., he wrote: “Be vigilant, I beg you Pope, be vigilant, and again I say, be vigilant … . (This) storm threatens the wreck of the ship of the church … . Keep watch, for the water has already made its entrance into the vessel, and the ship is in jeopardy.”

Cardinal O’Malley, who has shown considerable leadership in removing the stain left by his predecessor on the Episcopal Seat of the Archdiocese of Boston, needs to write another letter to his brother bishop, the head of the Catholic Church, and impress upon him the consequences of his words and neglect.

The bishop of Boston should be very well-versed on the consequences of a lack of vigilance when a storm threatens the ship of the church.

Bob Lyons


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