Apr 21, 2009

A personal message from Bishop Blair

Written by MOST REVEREND LEONARD P. BLAIR, Bishop of Toledo, Bishop of Toledo

On April 18, the Toledo Blade ran a story about the request that the Holy See has made of me to conduct a doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States. 

The Blade took the occasion to solicit comments about me from persons totally unrelated to the news in question, including a comment from SNAP’s national outreach director in St. Louis, whom I have never met or heard of. She was quoted as saying that I am “a bishop with a terrible track record on child sex abuse and cover-up.”

Since becoming your Bishop in 2003 I have had to deal with many grave matters, including cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors. I want to assure you that I have never “covered up” anything. Each and every allegation, past and present, has been taken with the utmost seriousness and handled according to the requirements of civil and church law. Above and beyond the law, our diocese has reached out to victims, and the outcome of clergy cases has been made public.

Every person has a right to his or her good name.  As your Bishop I want you to know that I reject as false the characterization that appeared in the Blade. At the same time I take to heart what our Lord said, that we are to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who persecute us.

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