To the Editor:
I appreciate Mr. Kevin O’Brien’s attempts to allay our fears, but the Catholic Church and its leaders have failed their sacred and moral obligations, not just in Pennsylvania but throughout the world. It’s impossible to trust the Rhode Island Dioceses when its moral leader states that he was aware of the incidents in Pennsylvania but chose not to do anything because it was outside his realm of responsibility.
Bishop Tobin and Mr. O’Brien, do you not have a moral responsibility to report a crime of sexual abuse? Bishop Tobin and you owe Rhode Island not just your words and prayers but verification that what you say is the truth. How many times might Bishop Tobin have conveniently decided that it wasn’t in his area of responsibility or political interest to report a case of sexual abuse?
The Attorney General of Rhode Island should follow the lead of other states and begin an inquiry of the R.I. Dioceses, and you and the bishop should welcome it as an opportunity to rebuild creditability and trust. However, no matter how the inquiry might turn out, I believe it would be in the best interest of Rhode Island for Bishop Tobin to resign. His washing of his hands in Pennsylvania was like Pontius Pilate trying to absolve himself of his crime.