Comments on the "I Was Abused..." Article

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The article by Mr. Salveson was quite disturbing and tends to lend support to the emerging popular realization that the Catholic Church in this country has long been guided by a mafia-like corps of cardinals and bishops.
This is becoming more obvious with each passing month, and Mr. Salveson’s story is another example of someone coming forth to expose the corruption, deceit and cowardice which apparently exist at the highest echelons of our leadership. The coverup by bishops and cardinals of sexual abuse by priests seems to be part of an overall pattern of behavior we are only now beginning to notice.

Now that I think about this, the same group of bishops and cardinals have covered up or not spoken out publically on many other moral issues of our time, such as abortion — isn’t abortion an excommunicatable offense for those in high political power who endorse the practice, such as Senator Ted Kennedy and others like him? Has Cardinal Law ever once spoken out about this? Why hasn’t Kennedy been excommunicated? I think I now get the big picture!

Anyway, I was shocked by the article, and the only response I can think of is to be much more discriminating when I make financial contributions to the church. It makes me ill to think that some of the money I have given to the church has been used to silence abusers and/or pay legal fees for cardinals and bishops who covered up these offenses. I commend the courage of folks like John Salveson who are beginning to turn on the lights in the attic.

John F. Rathman ’61

John deserves an award for the life that forms the basis of his story, and for writing it. Notre Dame Magazine deserves an award for printing it. Father Hesburgh’s action, as usual, probably was its own reward … God bless him! God bless John!

Rev. Thomas G. Landry ’78
Worcester, Massachusetts

Despite all the lurid stories we’ve read in the press about abusive clergy, John Salveson’s article took my breath away. Though I’m not naive, it is hard to believe the evil done to him, disguised as authoritative good. Thanks to Mr. Salveson for his battle—I admire his courage. And thanks to ND Magazine for printing the story, an editorial choice that may have also required courage.

Ann Gleason ’80
Durham, North Carolina

Like most people, I’m sure, I found this article expressing unimaginable horror. I cannot find the words to express my thoughts and feelings. Moral Holocaust is the only term that comes to mind.

That being said, how wonderful it was to read the author’s final paragraph. For certain, Father Ted has never let down his students, his Church, his ministry, his God and . . . Our Lady.

Through it all, there is a witness to Christ’s love, even in the midst of unspeakable wickedness.

Douglas Marvin ’69
Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

John Salveson is a brave and great man. My brothers Frank, Leo and I are sorry for all he suffered. He was a great friend at ND. An overall great ND. man. We will anything to help. This was one of the best articles I have ever read.

Bob Dricoll ’77
Hingham, Massachusetts

Honestly written. It is amazing after such abuse that John can be so level headed and fairminded. However on the other hand his description of his treatment by the bishops and clergy when he revealed his abuse is exactly the reason that I personally have lost all faith in the clergy and the institutional Church as the successor to Peter. The wealth of the Vatican in the face of overwhelming world poverty, the righteous preaching to other nations despite its own self centered aloofness; the denial, cover up, and legalistic machinations of the bishops in the face of the sex scandals, leads me to think: "how and why should I pay any attention to these clowns when they profess to speak to me on matters of faith or morals. They don’t have a clue and have not for centuries. Jesus Christ must be very disappointed if not outright disgusted. He would have driven them all from the temple.

Peter H Moriarty ’70
Washington, D.C.

I am saddened and ourtraged by John Salveson’s article. That he may well have been dominated by his abuser is made understandable by reflection upon how dominant and controlling a role priests had in the life of my (Catholic) generation. That they still largely do so is demonstrated by the ability of the many involved bishops and cardinals to cling to their rank despite their wrongful (if not criminal) continuing conduct in the matter.
Though not a fan of Father Hesburgh, I am proud of his response to John’s recital and only wish it would be publicly emulated by the hierarchy.

How “the Church” resolves the abuse problem — and, more importantly, how it seeks to redress the victims — will determine whether practice of doctrine is its primary goal. So far, it’s not easy to be confident or optimistic.

Edward Hanrahan ’43
River Forest, Illinois

I am proud to say that John Salveson is my cousin. He needn’t have worried about family reaction to his abusive experience. We are all behind him, and I, for one, admire his taking the time out of his full life to reach out to help others. I was abused by a family member and “didn’t tell.” I should have so that the person was exposed and punished. Therapy, and people like John, has helped to put it in perspective. Congratulations, too, to your magazine for printing an important story.

Barbara Harrod
Juno Beach, Florida

First of all, I am proud that you published the article by John Salveson in Notre Dame Magazine. It lets the world know that Notre Dame has not been exempt from the sexual abuse scandals within the Roman Catholic Church. Second, I am impressed that you will publish responses on the website. Many need to comment on it and, or share further Notre Dame stories needing healing and reconciliation.

Kerry Temple’s editorial comments give the impression that the Church has been suffering through a crisis “for more than a year now.” In many parts of the country we have suffered through the crisis for decades. I refer you to the archdiocese of Santa Fe and the crises in the dioceses of Lafayette and Dallas. When sexual abuse issues were uncovered on the East Coast, the crisis somehow became more real and immediate and has been addressed more thoroughly.

When I read John Salveson’s article I thought back to a day in the early summer of 1961. I had been accepted into a graduate program at ND and was one of seven women who would be testing the waters for women at Notre Dame, which eventually led to women undergraduates at the university. I was excited about the opportunities and excited to be going to the school where my two brothers had gone and would go. My dad said to be sure and look up Father Phil, a family friend who was one of the vice-presidents. It was a thrill to go into the administration building for the first time. I will make short the telling of what seemed like a long visit, I will just say that this priest (who must have been about the age I am now) began to hug, kiss and touch me very inappropriately. I didn’t know what to do. I was so surprised that this was happening. I got out of there the best and fastest way I could with him urging me to come back soon.

Like John Salveson I had no idea what to do with this info. I certainly didn’t imagine that I could tell Father Hesburgh, much less my parents or friends. I knew as one of so few women in a relatively new program I did not want to “cause trouble.” I do remember going to the grotto. I did not get an inner voice telling me to do anything. So I told no one and tried to put it out of my mind. One thing I knew was that no one would believe me, certainly no one in the Church or at Notre Dame. It wasn’t possible that an elderly priest in high office would act that way. But it was.

One thing I know, it set me up to believe stories of victims which surfaced here in New Mexico in the mid-1970s and on into the early ’90s. Some of the hierarchy has “gotten it” about sexual abuse and its rippling effects, others, many others, have not.

It won’’t change until the face of the Church changes and the lines of authority change radically.

Catharine Stewart-Roache ’62
Socorro, New Mexico

As a lifelong Catholic who is deeply troubled by the unwillingness of our Church’s hierarchy to deal with the issues of abuse and coverups, I was extremely proud to read about the positive efforts being made by Notre Dame. It seems that the University is making an open-minded effort to reach out to victims and to identify and remove abusers. This is undoubtedly a painful and embarrassing process . . . but the only way to be honest and caring in a way reflective of the way I believe Christ would have expected of us. Notre Dame has long stood for “what’s right.” Thank you for continuing to stand by that basic value.

James G. Porst ’71
Plano, Texas

A powerful story! In 23 years experience, no help to heal. How has the church not only separated itself but turned 180 degrees from the message?

Paul Schellhammer ’62

I think John Salveson should be applauded for his honest and straightforward approach to a very difficult subject. I totally agree and have heard it times before that they (the Catholic Church) never seems to apologize or take responsibility for its actions. Their number one concern should be the well-being and spiritual condition of the people in their church. What about compassion? I wonder, how many people who have been abused and have turned totally away from God? It’s the Church’s responsibility to bring people closer to God. And are they really doing that? Sure didn’t sound like it to me by reading this story. How sad.

My question after reading this was “I wonder where John is now with his walk with the Lord?” I can only hope and pray he is right with God.

Jo-Ann D. Ranallo
Cleveland, Ohio

If my oldest son’s best friend in high school was not the local SNAP spokesperson and had he not confided to me some of his story, I am not certain how I would have reacted to Mr. Salveson’s article. I may not have even read it; if I did, I probably would not have done much, if anything. I am ashamed to have to say that, but the truth has its own value, as Mr. Salveson has had the courage to show us.

What should we do? I can’t think of a better idea than that of my classmate, Jim Muller: reach out to the victims, support our loyal priests, and work to change whatever it is about the Church that allowed this to happen. If you don’t recognize it, that is the agenda of Voice of the Faithful, the centrist group Jim founded to do something when something had to be done. Despite what pundits may say, it is not unfaithful or radical to do what is necessary so nothing like this ever happens to the People of God, especially the young people, for as long as we can keep the memory alive. Doing nothing cannot be an option.

“Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage. Anger that things are not what they ought to be; Courage to make them what they might be.”* If you have read Mr. Salveson’s article, you should be Angry. If you have the Courage to act, then, but only then, can you be hopeful, and Hope is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

*Attributed to Saint Augustine by Paul Lakeland, The Liberation of the Laity, p. v (Continuum 2002).

Larry Mulligan ’65
Grand Rapids, Michigan

I was shocked to read John Salveson’s story in the most recent Notre Dame Magazine. John was a classmate, and a close friend of mine at Saint Dominic’s High School. His story personalized the clergy abuse story for me, as I knew both the victim and the priest. The John I knew was a leader among his peers, an excellent student and a good friend. The fact that someone like John could be abused demonstrated to me how vulnerable a teenager is under the circumstances described. I am particularly troubled by the lack of action on the part of the hierarchy of the Church. The fact that our leadership did not take the steps necessary to protect the young people of our Church, and their lack of compassion for the victims raises questions about both their priorities and leadership. I can only hope that the attention that this has brought to the Church will result in some positive changes, and I hope our University has the courage to take a leadership role in the call for change.

Robert Till ’79 MBA
Amherst, Massachusetts

John Salvenson was very courageous to share his story. I was horrified when I read the criminal transferred to oversee a residence hall at Notre Dame. By the last two paragraphs of the article, I was moved to tears. Perhaps God arranged the meeting on the train with Father Hesburgh?

Paula Brobst ’78
Fort Collins, Colorado

Editors are to be congratulated in publishing this. Too long the ND magazine has been a blurb for a Catholic Disney World, overlooking many abuses of the Roman Catholic clerical system, and not encouraging readers to think about their faith (very deeply). . . . I am a married priest, former monk, in the trenches dealing with those abused by the system for many years: The RC clerical system is sick and dysfunctional, and abuse all kinds prevails . . . and you are not even aware of your blindness . . . to the gospel message of Jesus. There are almost 25K married priests in the USA alone, who despite love of ministry and their priesthood, found it necessary to leave the clerical state, and the response of bishops and religious superiors has been punitive. Celibacy is by and large not observed, anywhere in the world, and yet there remain a vast number of good priests, but now to be accused is to be guilty, and most live in such fear that they cannot and will not even reach out to brother priests!

Notre Dame Magazine has not been willing to face the dark side of the RC church, and of the subtle and stealth oppressiveness of this arrogant system of control and guilt and disempowering.

I continue my pastoral work and my priestliness with an independent Catholic Church, despite “stop and desist” letters from the local ordinary who did not pause to threaten and condemn me to others.

Paschal Bernard Baute ’57

Though the crisis of sexual abuse in the Church is nothing new, I was surprised by the renewed depth of sadness and pain I felt in reading John Salveson’s article. This article clearly described the greatest tragedy of this crisis: a young man was taught to view his priest as a model for the proper way to live, and as a good child, he followed this man, in all his pathetic, devious thinking and behavior. Because this child was good, he was deeply hurt and injured. Because he was good, because he listened, he was victimized. This is what stings most of all. As a parent, I try to teach my children to respect authority: priests, teachers, policemen. It frightens me that these are people who, based on their position, have the best opportunity to take advantage of children. It is such a challenge: teaching children to respect and be wary at the same time. It is not easy, but thanks to the courage of people like Mr. Salveson, parents today are armed with a new awareness that reminds us to pay close attention to all of our children’s relationships.

Bonnie Wolf Vasilion ’85
Wilmette, Illinois

We were very moved by John Salveson’s article. John is to be congratulated and celebrated for his ministry with those who, like him, have been sexually abused by Catholic priests and other clergy.

Neither my wife nor I were sexually abused by clergy. However, we want John and other survivors of clergy sexual abuse to know that there are many Catholics who care. In fact, we have dedicated our careers to achieving justice and closure for them, their families and communities without the re-victimization that John discussed in his article.

For many years, I assisted in the resolution of such matters from the standpoint of insurance coverage counsel. Leanne and I became convinced that there is a better, more compassionate way to bring about resolution. Thus, in January 2003, I quit my law firm job and, together with Leanne, founded The Gilead Center. The Gilead Center is a neutral service through which we endeavor to bring healing and closure to people who have been abused by clergy. This is our ministry.

John eloquently articulated the pain and victimization experienced by children sexually abused by clergy who have breached the trust placed in them by parents, children and communities. Those of us who have never been so violated cannot claim to know the depth of despair felt by people who have been abused by clergy, nor do we fully understand their profound courage in publicly exposing their abusers. Make no mistake about it: These are not victims to be pitied; they are strong, brave, heroic survivors who deserve our admiration and gratitude.

It is especially sad that John and other survivors of clergy sexual abuse have been treated like legal adversaries and are not heard — let alone acknowledged — until litigation or some other adversarial process has run its course. Even then, most abuse survivors do not feel that justice has been achieved. Instead, an adversarial process can actually impede the healing process, re-open wounds and may result in delayed and inconsistent “justice.”

The Gilead Center’s neutral, compassionate resolution process is designed to achieve consistent settlements similar to what victims should expect through the litigation process, but without the acrimony prevalent in litigation. Our service is designed to provide settlements to people who have been abused, along with counseling, apologies from Church officials and other services which will assist in the healing process.

One of the greatest tragedies of this scandal is that survivors of clergy sexual abuse often experience a loss of faith and, understandably, may not be aware of God’s grace in their lives. We are so grateful that John’s and Father Hesburgh’s lives were touched by grace during their encounter on the train. They each gave to the other tremendous gifts through which God’s grace was manifest in their lives and now, these many years later, to all of us as well. Leanne and I are not representatives of the Church, but we hope that through The Gilead Center we can play a part in reconciling survivors to their faith (if not Catholic, then some other expression of faith), and that we can be a source of God’s grace in their lives.

We would be honored to discuss The Gilead Center with John Salveson or any others interested in learning more about this method.

Michael Burnett ’85, ’89J.D. and Leanne Burnett ’85

Sincere thanks to John Salveson for writing this article and to Notre Dame Magazine for publishing it. It is the singularly most telling and moving article I have seen throughout the entire abuse scandal. Its moving quality is due to Mr. Salveson’s focus on his recovery and the recovery of others, without succumbing to the bitterness that he must feel. Despite the incredible wrong done to him, he is concerned about the sorrow and sadness of others. His parents, whose trust and faith in the Church were probably the foundation for their lives, found that foundation shattered, both by the actions of an individual priest and more significantly by the ensuing and ongoing coverup. For other victims, who are without the strength and support to work through the pain they have endured, John hopes and works for healing.

He seeks not retribution but help for those who have been harmed, along with an admission of the wrong done by so many to so many. Only by meeting those goals will the Catholic Church begin to repair the damage.
John Salveson is doing more to heal the wounds by speaking out with such openness and compassion. May he find peace and healing. And may Church leaders listen and respond constructively to men and women like him in an effort to overcome this great sorrow.

Ellen Dorney Colyer ’80
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Kudos to your magazine for publishing John’s article. His courage and patience in dealing with this very devastating problem are to be admired —we’re proud to have him as our son!

Bernadette & Norman Salveson
Stratford, Connecticut

I was moved by John Salveson’s article. He demonstrated great courage and honesty in naming the name of his abuser and the times and places of his abuse. That takes incredible guts. It speaks volumes for his faith that he did so in your magazine. I was sexually abused as a young child and after 40 years still have not confronted those of my abusers still alive. I can only commend John for his courage.

I would also like to say that Father Hesburgh’s standing in my eyes has gone up immensely. I had met the man a few times as a student and was more impressed with his slickness than anything else. What that encounter on the train showed me was the pastoral side of the man that had been obscured by the university president he had become by the time I met him. He too has courage. I t takes courage for anyone to say “I’m sorry” for horrors that occurred under their administration. Father Hesburgh is more courageous than I gave him credit for.

Adam McIntosh ’73
South Bend, Indiana

All I can say is AMEN! I was sexually abused by a priest in the early ’80’s. My abuser was assigned to the Saint Raymond’s Church in Bronx, New York. What Mr. Salveson described regarding the emotional trauma, is right on the nose. As with Mr. Salveson, I encountered glib remarks and little empathy. I changed Christian denominations, but I still feel unwanted, and unloved by my fellow brethren. I never bothered to approach the church, I instead found a lawyer, and decided to sue for damages. Unlike Mr Salveson, I did NOT receive support from my family, and trying to deal with the emotional chaos is taking it’s toll. Needless to say, my therapy bill is quite high. I’m glad I at least have insurance. SNAP has helped me gain some hope, in the sense that we survivors have a place to gather, share ideas, and collectively become one voice of strength and hope to others still suffering. I wish there was more statistically information shared, so others can see physical data of what this abuse has done to us. I will have to agree with Mr. Salveson, until there is full accountability, disclosure and an apology, there can be no true recovery. And until more churches “open their arms” to us, we will always be an outcast.

Stuart Dupras
Tipp City, Ohio

This is not so much a response to John Salveson’s article in the current issue of Notre Dame Magazine as it is a reflection. My reaction to what he wrote is that I am impressed with John’s courage in his ongoing struggle to bring this issue into the light and I am proud to see our Notre Dame Magazine as a vehicle.

What prompted me to write this observation was the thought provoking nature of the article. It caused me to reflect on my relationships with priests throughout my lifetime. For the most part my experiences have been positive. My parish priest was enormously instrumental in my attending Notre Dame. I studied for the priesthood at a minor seminary my freshman and sophomore years of high school. My experiences with priests there help train me to be a disciplined student and enhanced my spiritual life. I must admit after the seminary most of my relationships with priests have been a little distant and removed. However, several priests who have ""crossed my path"" still stand out in my mind for their assistance in helping me with pivotal events and decisions in my life.

As the abusive cleric scandal has evolved, I actually have been angered by the response and duplicity of the Church hierarchy. However, John’’s article renewed my belief that our religion can weather this current dilemma as it has throughout a history marked by the fallibility of its leaders in worldly matters. Human beings administer the Catholic Church, which makes it as vulnerable to the same failings of its leaders as any other organization of this world. Recognition of this fact, has kept my faith strong though a very trying period. I pray to Jesus Christ, not to the Catholic Church.

John’’s article compelled me to write because, despite the Church’s apparent unwillingness to deal with this matter, I was gratified to see his article printed in Notre Dame Magazine. I am proud to see my alma mater in the forefront of honest, open discussion on this issue.

Finally, John’’s closing anecdote about Father Hesburgh reminded me how priests, even when they pass briefly though our lives, can also have a profoundly positive effect on us.

Tim Danielson ’69
Carmel, New York

Born into Roman Catholicism during what should have been a “period of innocence” in American society, I lived a short city block from my neighborhood parish, Saint Nicholas, in Passaic, New Jersey. I attended the the Catholic elementary school, was an altar boy and spent countless hours at the Church. Everyone thought I was “holy” and that “someday he’ll go to seminary and study for the priesthood.” Unknown to them, the fact of the matter is that I had been enduring sexual abuse by two priests assigned to the parish over a period of two years.
I tried to deal with the situation; however, it affected my abilities to study and concentrate. My parents even sent me to a child psychologist thinking I might be impaired or mildly retarded. If they had only known the real reasons for my confusion, low self-esteem, and inability to “apply himself to his full potential.”

The abuse took its toll on me and I had to have a tutor for the summer so that I could go on to the eighth grade. I was accepted into a diocesan high school but failed miserably in my freshman year. I am probably the only student the notable parochial high school ever had that spent five years getting to graduation.
After high school, I decided to attempt to answer the call of a religious vocation. I went to three religious communities before abandoning the attempt at religious life.

I decided to put my “experiences” aside and move on in life. I married (but refused any commitment to bring children into the world as a parent), entered into (and completed) a successful career in law enforcement, and left the Roman church, seeking out God in other forms (home prayer, occasional attendance at neighborhood Christian churches and even a conversion to Russian Orthodoxy).

The clergy sexual abuse I endured occasionally surfaced over the last 40+ years. During my law enforcement career, investigations involving incest brought back the scars and emotions of priestly incest. More recently, the Law and Order series, Special Victims Unit (SVU) dealing with pedophilia also brought back repressed memories and caused me to have frequent nightmares and become moderately depressed. Then, the church scandal broke loose in Boston in 2001. I lost control and could not concentrate, remain focused; my emotions ran the gamut like an E-ride rollercoaster.

March 2002, I wrote to the bishop involved and narrated my abuse. August 2002, I had the opportunity to speak with him and several others in key positions at the diocese. A verbal offer of supplying therapy and counseling was made “if you think you need it.” The diocesan legal representative apparently feels that victims only want to deplete the coffers. He wrote me stating “it’s all about the money. How sad.” He just doesn’t get it. The bishop also does not get it; I can only assume he feels that he can walk away from the disturbing number of allegations that have been brought to him by victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse occurring in the diocese. It also appears that the bishop is mainly concerned with his episcopal legacy.

The correlation between my story of abuse and John Salveson’s is notable. The bishop never apologized to me. When I questioned him about that, he offhandedly muttered his form of apology. I was not asked about my spiritual welfare—only that I would be prayed for. The bishop told me he could have handled these situations differently and confessed to me that he had a personality flaw dealing with being perceived as an arrogant individual. He admitted to me that he failed to deal with the situation of clergy sex abuse in a manner that would have helped victims.

I have created a website ( that I feel has significantly assisted me in bringing courage to other abuse victims to step out from the darkness and into the light; to challenge the Roman Catholic Church, to demand change, justice, accountability and veracity. The website makes me “naked to the world;” however, it serves a greater purpose than self-vulnerability.

John Salveson and I apparently feel the same way: we would like to forget once and for all, move on with our lives, “let it go.” However, I also feel much like John. I am obsessed with the need to remain an activist for change. The irony here is that I am no longer Roman Catholic. Last year, my wife and I were brought “by the Holy Spirit” to a local evangelical Lutheran church. We have since become members and are active in several lay ministries. Our new pastors have been supportive and THEY offered apologies for the suffering and pain I have endured for so very long. It is through their example, through the correlation that brought Martin Luther to what has been labeled the “Protestant Reformation,” that I have hope in the future for the Catholic church, a church still in need of cleansing—and reform.

Steven M. Rabi
Albuquerque, New Mexico

I am happy John published his story in our magazine. I am happy he is helping others, and I am happy Father Hesburgh apologized to John. As I read the article, it appears John himself has not dealt with his abuse. He carries a resentment against the Church. Yes, it was terrible what John went through, but we all go through things in our lives that we must overcome. We cannot let it continue to ruin our lives and families.

Michael Norris ’70
Rochester, Michigan

Salveson’s story explains vividly the pain/bewilderment of a priestly abuse victim. If only the bishops understood.

John Hosbein ’45
Prescott, Arizona

I am a 65-year-old Catholic theologian who spent six years as a seminarian, leaving one year before ordination. I have been anti-clericalism and anti-hierarchicalism as long as I can remember. I consider the whole system one that would make Jesus vomit. But in the past couple of years, we have had it driven home that whatever one might think of the system, we all should agree that something about it invites and protects the presence of some very sick and destructive people.

I have just read John Salveson’s “I was abused,” a story of incredible abuse pain, and struggle against the system that I admire him for telling, and Notre Dame Magazine for publishing. I think that every one of your readers should keep it forever and never forget it; and that it should be required reading for every bishop, priest and seminarian in the country. Then it should serve as an important resource for a discussion of the whole system. Mr. Salveson, I am so sad that this happened to you. You must be an incredible person. May God bless you, your family, and your efforts on behalf of victims.

Frank Reilly
Saint. Paul, Minnesota

While there is no defensible apologia for the deceitful and despicable actions and betrayal of trust by and of Father Huneke, Mr. Salveson’s article does beg the question of when, in the seven years of his relationship with Father Huneke, might he have tiptoed over the “abuse” line and into at least the fringes of “personal responsibility” territory. As a 14-year old boy in the same neck of the woods, Long Island, and a freshman at an all boys Catholic high school, I was the target of an attempt at sexual abuse by a clergyman in whom I had great trust. I knew at the time, whether instinctively or through training, but with absolute certainty, that what was going on was not only very wrong but was never going to occur again because I was never going to allow the circumstances (proximate occasion etc.?) to be repeated.

My heart goes out to Mr. Salveson but the “two people” theory is just too convenient. Seven years? During which he was stable and controlled enough away from the good Father to be good enough to play hockey, date, be elected president of the senior class at Saint Dominic’s AND get into Notre Dame? Please! Not once in his article, as he takes priests and bishops to task and attributes all the blame and responsibility for his plight to them and others, does he even hint that he had a role in either the activities or tenure of what can only be described as a lengthy, if not lasting, relationship.

We all have experiences in that sh** sandwich, so colorfully described by Father Huneke, that is life; crosses I believe they’re called. Perhaps a more accurate analogy would be this vale of tears as a poker game. Mr. Salveson got a lousy deal, maybe even a couple bum hands in a row. But he could have folded.

Tom Tierney
Jacksonville, Florida

After watching and reading news stories on clergy abuse in the Catholic Church for several months, hearing the real-life story of a victim (John Salveson), really brought the point home. The Church’s tolerance and response to the abuse borders on “unchristian behavior.” The offending priests need more than just removal from their positions. They need psychological counseling.

James R. McGuire

I enjoy_Notre Dame Magazine’s_well-thought-out articles. Salveson’s was one such article, but also very disturbing. The sexual abuse scandal is a manifestation of a Church heirarchy acting in a reprehensible fashion, totally derelict of moral and legal responsibility. While not the first historical example, selling indulgences, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and failing to condemn Nazism, the scandal is particularly shocking because it occurred at a time when many entities were effectively dealing with similar problems.
The Church is not the incompetent male hierarchy, but the plural congregations that make up parishes. It’s time for the congregants to demand their rightful control over our Church, and dismantle the medieval structure that is effectively destroying itself anyway.

Patrick Cimino ’78

That Salveson did not terminate his relationship with Huneke earlier indicates it had passed from abuse to an affair. His self-pity is disgusting. His refusal to accept responsibility is appalling. Certainly when he went away to college, if he had any fortitude, he could have ended it. My sympathy extends only to the initial molestation. We’ve all had passes made. They’re easy to resist. Get real!

Charles G Conway ’56
Palm Springs, California

I have watched with tremendous dismay the unfolding of the clery abuse scandal, and then with utter disgust, its explosion in the Boston Archdiocese. My revolt has been greatest at the church’s handling of this self-inflicted disaster, and their apparent utter disregard to even treat the victims of abuse as people. After reading the article, I applaud John for his resolve, his efforts, and his support network. He is acting the way the Catholic Church should be acting. And Father Hesburgh further exemplifies that. The Catholic Church seems to forget that you need to show faith in people, and not just in a hierarchal structure; the Catholic Church is comprised of people and its primary mission should be serving the faith of those people, not the priests, bishops, archbishops, and the Pope. This crisis seems to have awaken almost all Catholics to this very fact; it seems that some of the priests, bishops, archbishops, and the Pope are the only people who can’t understand this fact. I am not sure the Catholic Church will ever come to that realization, but at least we have people like John and Father Hesburgh to keep our faith going.

Joseph Higgins ’85
Hingham, Massachusetts

Courage and cowardice live side by side in Mr. Salveson’s painful story: his abundant courage and the cowardice of church leaders and the abusive priests who they protected. While he heroically deals with the pain of his experience, church leaders continue to cringe, ineffectively confront the problem in their midst and provide us one of the finest examples of hypocrisy we could imagine. While preaching morality, integrity and rigid adherence to numerous rules of good living, they are apparently blind to their own failure to live the “good life” that they expect of their church members. Lay Catholics are expected to be stalwart in the face of temptation, but leaders of the church and the predator priests have demonstrated their lack of courage, and a lack of commitment to the values which they insist that their fellow Catholics must possess.

I find it grotesqely ironic that on the same day that I read John Salveson’s story, the Vatican announced its global campaign against gay marriage. Regardless of what anyone thinks of gay marriage, it should be abundantly clear that the Vatican’s priorities are skewed. It should declare a global war on predator priests and get its own house in order first. Such a courageous step is called for, but exceptionally fallible and cowardly men seem to comprise the bulk of church leadership. Recalling Christ’s anger when he chased the moneychanger’s from the Temple, I can imagine the justifiable fury that he would display toward those priests who betrayed a sacred trust, and those in authority who harbored them, afforded them the opportunity to prey on the innocents, and who still won’t meaningfully acknowlege the obscenity that occurred or fashion " A Simple Solution" as suggested by Mr. Salveson.

God bless you, John Salveson, for your courage, and thank you, Notre Dame Magazine, for publishing his story.

Jim O’Kane ’70
Knoxville, Tennessee

I commend Mr. Salveson for writing, and Notre Dame Magazine for publishing, the article. There is one point, however, that I cannot allow to go unanswered. Mr S. states that he has never spoken to a single person abused by a priest “who felt the church took care of her or him properly.” Mr. S’s experience is very different from abuse victims I am familiar with.

I was neither surprised nor shocked by his revelation of the abuse he suffered. I am one of a corps of certified therapists who volunteered to listen pastorally to, and record the claims of, persons sexually abused by priests in this archdiocese. I personally interviewed 15 persons and have spoken to the other therapist-interviewers. Every one of the victims expressed deep gratitude to us at being able to come and tell their story to a compassionate listener. Several were in need of therapy. Their requests were passed on by us to the director of the program, also a certified, experienced therapist. In all cases the archdiocese paid for the therapy and/or medications needed.

The stories that I and my peers heard were heartbreaking. This was a very difficult ministry for us. But our sessions and the follow-ups were described by all but one victim as very helpful and healing. Our Archbishop has appointed a clinical psychologist, paid by the archdiocese, to follow up on these cases and any others that might surface in the future.

I sincerely hope that this scandal will ultimately result in a much needed change in the attitude and actions of our bishops, not only in matters of sexual abuse by priests, brothers and nuns, but also in the way they conduct themselves in carrying out their duties as our shepherds.

I also feel compelled to point out that in this archdiocese there has recently been formed a chapter of SNAP. The woman who apparently leads it has given statements to the press that are misleading (some are untruthful) in their negative comments about the response this archdiocese has made to abuse victims. Her comments are not to be accepted without further checking.

In addition, I would like to point out to Kerry Temple who wrote the article inside the front cover that priests preyed on young girls as well as young boys. Of the persons I interviewed almost half were female.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Marie R. Garon
New Orleans, Louisiana

This was the one article that I would not have wanted to miss in my many years of reading ND Magazine cover to cover. Unfortunately, most of us meet the victims of this abuse only when they are shouting their rage into a television camera lens. Thank you for having the courage to print Mr. Salveson’s article and for allowing me to meet him.

Lawrence M. Knoles ’66
Disney, Oklahoma

The unbelievable hypocrisy of the Church, the denial, false pride, lies, cover ups, legal angling, all attendent to this ongoing scandal has revealed a church hierarchy vain, heinous and full of hubris. To have priests-dedicated servants of God, sexually assaulting their own flock, for decades, is so disturbing it makes me sick. And this isn’t just a few bad eggs. dozens of priests in the Boston area alone have been ferreted out. Of course any school boy could have told you many of these men were far off the beam way back in the 60’s — but either we were to frightened or too small to be heard. It amounts to having someone rape you, then want to hear your confession.

Salveson is correct on everything — except perhaps the hope that the Catholic Church will ever make good on this terrible wrongdoing. Unbelivably, they’re still trying to nip it all in the bud. a bigger bunch of clueless bishops you couldn’t find-out of touch with their parishioners, out of touch with the nature of celibacy, out of touch with themselves, I left the church long ago, finally finding a joyful and redemptive relationship with God far from the constraints, contradictions and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church.

Dennis H. Lopez ’73

John Salveson has written a very deep and emotional essay. He is a real man, who has walked among you and upon your campus. The next time you hear it uttered or exhorted that clergy abuse was the result of “a few bad apples,” or that half-million dollar word “Transparency,” think of John. Why in the world would he make this up?

Ken Schneider

I am proud to be a graduate of a Catholic University and Law School that confronts the truth and is not afraid to publish stories of healing and hope relevant to our Catholic Faith and experience such as John Salveson’s Article entitled “I was Abused . . .” Kudos to Father Hesburgh who showed us God’s healing grace when he apologized on behalf of the Church. May God continue to Bless Our Lady’s University.

Michael E. Conway ’83MBA, ’89J.D.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

When I came home for our yearly retreat this week, I saw the summer issue of Notre Dame Magazine in my mailbox, and I came across the article by John Salveson about the abuse he suffered at the hands of a Catholic priest while he was at Notre Dame. Now I am a priest myself, just ordained last year. In fact, my ordination took place May 31, 2002, right at the height of the publicity regarding the priest scandals. It was very disturbing for me then, but I persevered to ordination, and again I was disturbed when I read this article, and my reaction was to pray for John. During the retreat, I had many prayers about the article, and for John.

At one time during the retreat we were praying the Litany of the Virgin Mary: Mother most pure, pray for us. Mother most chaste, pray for us. Mother undefiled, pray for us. Virgin most powerful, pray for us. Purity. Virginity. I thought, here is the answer to the crisis: The Virgin Mary. The mother of Jesus. The Mother most pure and most chaste. Our Lady. Notre Dame.

Rev. Charles Zmudzinski, CPM, ’84
Glasgow, Kentucky

John Salveson’s article moved me to tears. I spent a glorious year at Notre Dame earning my master’s degree. Not being Catholic myself, I didn’t feel that I had to express awe for many of the landmarks of the Catholic tradition on campus. But I did meet Father Hesburgh briefly. It was a long enough encounter for me to sense the depth and strength of his uniquely impressive moral character.

He inspired awe himself.

My life fell apart three ago, and with the help of a therapist, I realized that it was because I was repressing the memories of years-worth of abuse at the hands of a family member. My healing process has been miraculous and grace-filled. My friends celebrate the beauty of the healing they witness now that I am honest about my abuse.

My family, still wanting to protect my abuser, has belittled me with stinging attacks of harsh criticism. The parallels with John’s story are striking.

I thank John and Notre Dame Magazine for being friends of truth.

Debbie Mullin ’82
Colorado Springs, Colorado

My husband, Mark, is a member of the class of ’71. I really do enjoy reading the magazine when it arrives in our mailbox.

I commend you for including John’s article last month.Why? John and I were high school classmates and also very active in our parish folk group. The story he tells recalled my high school years, but I never had any idea what John and some friends had been through. Do I believe John — unequivocally!!!!!!

What I admire more is how John has “righted” his ship and taken the control back that he lost for some time. John makes the point that he was every parent’s dream for their daughter. My mother couldn’t agree more.
The most touching point of the article was his retelling of meeting Father Hesburgh on the train. Father Hesburgh’s apology is the statement that so many abused children by the clergy would like to hear (and need to hear) from their dioceses.

Keep up the great work. Your magazine always leaves me thinking.

Anne Marie Fallek
Northville, Michigan

John’s story was very interesting, and I always had my suspicions of Father Bob, or Father Jerk, and have no doubt about John’s feelings that the Catholic church wanted to sweep this issue under the carpet for a long long time. My prayers and thoughts to all of those affected, and never got an apology for some of the worst behavioral problem in America that no one wants to deal with. . . . A friend from East Norwich and a fellow student of St Dominic’s 1964 thru 1973. Amen.

Tim McEvoy
Morristown, New Jersey

John Salveson is a friend of mine and I have much admiration and respect for the personal cross he bears as well as the courage and perseverance he shows in helping himself and other victims of this horrific tragedy. As a Catholic, I continue to be saddened by the indifference and arrogance of the church. This is not love! Thank you John for sharing your story and to ND magazine for publishing this article. May God bless all the victims that have been abused and may they find peace in their lives and somehow forgive the their transgressors.

Robert J. Nesbit
Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania

Saint Paul tells me in 1st Corinthians, “You, then, are one body of Christ. Everyone of you is a member of it.” Therefore, as a member of His church, I am guilty of the continuing abuse suffered by John Salveson. I am so ashamed and sorry that John and his family are still carrying this cross.

Jim Meixner
Centerville, Ohio

The article by John Salveson helped awaken me to how widespread this had become. To me (thru local media attention) it was a story seemingly with Boston as the center of the epidemic, with some “outbreaks” in other areas.

The church, MY CHURCH, had always been the model for moral behavior to me. I wanted to live a Christ-like life, yet I knew that I could never be that good and would be tempted by the secular world around me. I liked the company of girls too much to seriously consider being a priest. But the priests, they were the ones who gave up all that worldly stuff to devote their lives to God and His flock. The priests were God’s role models on earth.

Much like our athletic heroes were in days gone by, before we found out they were drug-addicted, or cheating on their wives, or fathering children out of wedlock, or just plain old greedy. Like my athletic heroes, priests (all by association) have become another indestructible icon of the my childhood past, chipped away at by the glaring attention of the media. And in a strange way, seemingly corrupted its own attention TO the media.

The church, much like the world in general, has gotten away from dealing with “the truth,” and appears to have tried to just have the lawyers fight it or negotiate it away.

I say the church needs this confrontation. It needs to prove itself worthy of being “all open and honest,” “all caring and comforting,” all directed by the laws of morality, not of legality, the laws of a higher order. If ordered to pay a fine, pay it. If ordered by court to apologize. If ordered to confront itself, let it accept responsibility for its actions and accept its punishment and move forward. There are bumper stickers here that have the letters “WWJD” — What Would Jesus Do? Jesus preached the glory of heaven, and was branded a criminal. Jesus was confronted with a trial, and He did not deny what He knew was “the Truth”. He accepted His punishment, and we are taught to follow His example. Somewhere along the line, the church lost its way. This is an important test as to whether the church can once again be held up to the moral standard it is based on.

So where do I look for morality in this world? I don’t see it in the news, with all kinds of business shenanigans. Crime: white collar, blue collar, bandana-colored gang crime. An all-consuming drive to be Number One. Be the winners, and win at all costs. The message is out there in all forms in today’s publicized world. Well, I still look to the message of the church, though I admit I have my problems with the church’s bureaucracy. I try to live a right life, and foster moral development in my family. Because when I leave behind all my worldly possessions, I will want to have left the world having loved others and felt love in return. And I will want to be remembered as a man of integrity.

I send my daughter to a Catholic grade school, because I want her to learn how important it is to grow up with a strong moral base for decision-making, a love for God and for others. That message is still being taught. In first grade, she doesn’t have to know the details of what had happened to those poor victims in the past. But she needs to believe in the teachers, the nuns, the priests, the community of the church, and believe that we, as a church community, try to live the message.

Richard Kluczyk ’82
Rockaway, New Jersey

Thank you for having the courage to print John Salveson’s article “I Was Abused.” As parents, we all need to be diligent, alert and tuned in to the extraordinary resourcefulness of the child predator. Whether it be at church, at school or even at Target, we need to be more resourceful than the child predator. Knowledge is everything. Thank you for sharing this brutally honest portrait of a monster who would stop at nothing to pursue his prey, and of the child who became man enough to turn the tables on his nemesis and become the hunter. I admire his courage, his fortitude, and his love. John Salveson is a hero.


I would feel remiss, in the execution of my responsibility as a Catholic, and a graduate of Notre Dame, if I failed to share my thoughts about the article by John Salveson. Much of my first read-thru was colored by a defensive, adversarial animus toward the author. The final paragraph turned me around. Father Hesburgh, a personal hero of mine, again validated my admiration and affection for him. If informed, he would have removed the victimizer. Once informed, even 20 years after the fact, he voiced his apology. I echo his apology. I urge Mr. Salveson to reflect upon the serendipitous moment of Grace which seated him with Father Ted on the train. The Air Force has an expression, “Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing.”

Steve Martinek, ’71, ’74J.D.

Article by Salveson was news only because it appeared in Notre Dame Magazine, and we did not need it. After all the national press has saturated us with the subject. In our day, at least at some point, we would have given a swift kick to the groin and that would have ended the ongoing bondage immediately. As far as expecting the hierarchy to say it was sorry about anything was a phenomenon we never knew to exist, then as perhaps now.

Howard J. Schmitt ’43

Thank you for publishing the article by ND alumnus John Salveson in the Summer 2003 edition. The topic of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests is a painful one for Catholics to confront. However, Salveson’s article is one of the best I’ve read on this difficult subject. Perhaps it is the fact that some episodes of the abuse inflicted on Salveson occurred within the shadows of the Golden Dome that made his story hit me between the eyes. The idea that a Catholic priest decided to desecrate our Notre Dame campus by continuing his predatory abuse of a defenseless student there is particularly repugnant.

Like most Catholics, I have been deeply disappointed and dismayed at the clumsy and ineffective response to this scandal by the leaders of the institutional Church. The fact that Salveson persevered and survived the crimes committed against him by an agent of the Church is a testament to the idea that the real Catholic Faith lives on, in spite of a mindless corruption among many of the male leaders of the institutional Church.

After reading the end of Salveson’s article, one can only wonder how different this all might have been if only the Church had more leaders like Father Ted Hesburgh. As the article relates, Father Ted would not have swept problems of priest abuse under the rug, like many bishops and other Catholic hierarchy did. And when he was informed that evil deeds did occur on his watch, at least Father Ted had the human decency and sensitivity to offer a direct and honest apology to the victim.

Mike McCauley ’69
Millwaukee, Wisconsin

Wow! I was extremely impressed by the article, “I Was Abused . . .” in your Summer 2003 issue. I was impressed that you would print it! It was great to read this article. . . . I felt very proud to be an ND Alumni (perhaps for the first time). I am an abuse survivor (my father, not a clergy — but the issues and damage are pretty much the same) and by printing this article you have done a lot to help heal those of us who have survived the experience of abuse. Some of us tried to tell people about our abuse and where told things like, “you must have imagined it,” etc. Again, all I can say is thank you for myself and others I’m impressed.

P.S. I’m a Child Clinical Psychologist, so I could say more. However, I think I’ve said enough — just thank you!

Alice M. Vargas, ’83Ph.D.

I just read the column written by John Salveson and wanted to tell John thank you for sharing his story and feelings in such a moving dialogue. I am from Boston and stand in protest at cathedral and also go to NH to protest Bishop McCormack, who had been so instrumental in the massive cover-up in this diocese.
My husband is a survivor who has never been able to speak of it to anyone other myself and our children. He was also the bright, good, little boy that had the misfortune to come across a terribly evil priest.
John wrote so eloquently of the “forever” pain of every survivor. His piece should be published in every catholic college newspaper in the country. Thank you NDM.

Lillian Albert

As I read the article by John Salveson ‘77, ’78 MA, I was filled with both sorrow and disgust. Sorrow for John and his terrible ordeal, and total disgust over the actions of Father Huneke. For some time I have been outraged over the actions of those in leadership positions who have either condoned or acted to cover up the abuses exercised by some priests over the years. The abuses are criminal, and those who were aware of these activities and did nothing are accomplices and should be treated accordingly. I am pleased that John’s life has taken a turn for the better. My anger was greatly diminished when, in the last paragraph, John told us of Father Hesburgh’s apology. It reinforced the great respect and admiration that I have for Father Hesburgh and further demonstrates the outstanding qualities of this holy man.

Lawrence J. Ryan Jr. ’72 MBA
New Albany, Indiana

I commend you for publishing John Salveson’s story. Thanks for not burying the truth, even though we would so want Notre Dame to be spared any connection to this terrible scandal. Is Father Hesburgh not a saint put here on earth?

Linda Oliver

I would like to thank John Salveson (‘I Was Abused’) for baring his soul in his horrific abuse story.Throughout the past year and a half, newspapers have recorded the general stories of sexual abuse by priests. But because John shares his personal tragedy with us, the impact is infinitely stronger.

I praise him for his candor and his courage. I am yet re-sickened and re-shocked at how the church has mishandled this. I remain loyal to the Catholic church because I know that there are many, many more wonderful priests than those fiends that have marred the bodies and souls of innocent children and severely tarnished the title “Father.”

Notre Dame Magazine should be praised for the boldness it demonstrated in printing this article. The atrocities outlined here and in the stories of every sexually abused person cannot be disregarded. And, as John indicates, the healing begins with an “I’m sorry.”

Deborah Rudy ’87

Kudos to Notre Dame for publishing John’s article during a time when too many of our Catholic institutions and church leaders are being far less forthright in addressing the problem of sexual abuse by the clergy.

We have recently seen a Catholic bishop arrested for hit and run. And locally, this was followed shortly after by the bishop testifying in court that his actions to transfer title of church property to the parishes was because the pope required it and had nothing to do with the multimillion dollar lawsuits filed against the diocese.

When the local newspaper reported that our pastor, after causing an auto accident, pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, the bishop was quoted as saying “This should not have been reported by the news media” — another example that the church hierarchy just doesn’t get it.

There is a crisis of confidence. We suspect we are not always being told the truth by our church leaders and that they do not appreciate the news media speaking out. No wonder so many of us Catholics are disillusioned and disappointed with church leadership.

Your willingness to publish an article by a victim of clerical abuse I’m sure was not an easy decision, as it spoke of abuse which continued while he was a ND student. But the decision was the right one. We of the laity need to hear rom someone – Catholic leaders and representatives of respected Catholic institutions. We look to Notre Dame speak out.

Jack Dunlevy ’51

After reading John Salveson’s article I felt compelled to write as a fellow victim/survivor of sexual abuse in what was once “my church.” I no longer define myself as a Catholic or as a member of any religious group. Let’s just say that my spirituality is regaining strength and the one place on earth that I feel that I can find solace is on the campus that means so very much to me. One thing I treasured at Notre Dame was its’ serenity, peace and sense of well-being and goodness.

Let me give you a brief synopsis of the abuse that happened to me. I was “groomed” (prosecutorial vernacular for being set-up for abuse), then sexually abused (raped — let’s call it by its’ real name) by three different members of the clergy. A few times when I was 11 and 12 by a parish priest, again at 13 when I was being “healed” by a seminarian who I had shared this information with, and finally at 19 by a Christian Brother who told me he gratified himself while I was asleep on his floor in Brownson Hall at Notre Dame.

Is this a coincidence or is this systemic deviant behavior rampant in the church I once called mine? Who is responsible and accountable? Who in the Catholic Church will step up to the plate and say, “Forgive all of us and how can we make this better?” Certainly not the cardinals or bishops. Bishop Wilton Gregory called for a day of penance to be observed by his fellow bishops. My God, I feel so much better now! A whole day. It has done wonders to alleviate 30 plus years of pain. The pope called for healing and protection of our most sacred gift, our children. Wow, now I feel great! Where the hell were these guys when I asked for help? The Vatican is quick to respond to the anti-sodomy and gay marriage issues with a pompous and arrogant “fatwa.” The similarities with Islam are all to clear! How dare they. Apparently, sodomy should be reserved for the collar at the sacrifice of young boys. Shame on all of them. The abusers, the co-conspirators and the cover-up artists, aka the priests, bishops, cardinals and, yes, the pope.

My dad always told me to make sure that my own house was clean first. This church has hidden its sexual promiscuity, abuse and deviance for centuries. Shame on them for judging. What’s the big deal about homosexuality anyway? It isn’t important who you love but that you love. Isn’t that what Christ taught us? Let’s not blame the homosexual community for pedophilia. They didn’t hide it for decades; the church did. The holy father should be reminded that a vast component of his same sex brotherhood is, indeed, gay.

Let me tell you about the carnage that these most heinous of " holy men" have left. We, the victims/survivors have been left with despair, depression, deconstructed lives, confusion, addiction, alcoholism, divorce and in the most extreme cases, suicide. Read the lawsuits that will more than likely never get heard. They are riddled with pain, anguish and suffering. Yet the Catholic Church, just as Gov. Keating stated, remains mafia-esque in its’ response — omerta, silence.

Let’s get real here for just a moment. Forget the healing, the counseling, the masses of reconciliation, the prostate mea culpas. You want to say I am truly sorry for my sins as a church and the responsible party? Come and knock on my door, John Salveson’s door and the THOUSANDS of others and say I am guilty and I am sorry. How can I restore so much of your life and health that have been taken away? Can I pay for your children’s education, your hospital bills. whatever? We, the Universal Church, will go to any to any length, bear any burden, we will pay any price to try to make amends to you. We want to restore you to the closest thing to normality as possible. We will melt the tabernacles and chalices, sell the paintings and buildings, give up the Sunday dresses and luxury cars. Whatever it takes, we’ll do it.

The end of the story had Father Hesburg apologize to Mr. Salveson, which, in all honesty, brought me to tears. I would expect at least that from Father Ted. It almost began a belief again, a faith again. Maybe I can heal. You know both my cousins were priests, and my aunt was a Sister of Charity. For the rest of my life I will always wonder, were they “okay” or part of this thing? Every time I see a Roman collar today, I think, guilty. Pretty sad.
Finally, do you see the damage you have done to me and he thousands of others? Can you imagine the lifelong pain and suffering you have caused? Will you go to any lengths to make your amends? What will you do to do the work of Jesus? Will you promise me that it will not happen to my two sons? Can you explain to them what it did to their dad?

William Schneider ’75

When I finished John Salveson’s article there were tears in my eyes for two reasons:



And the church wonders why it is losing so many members. My son, who resides in the diocese of Palm Beach, Florida, has protested with his feet.

I cannot understand why parishes around the country won’t allow groups who are working to save the church meet in the parish halls. if they did allow the meetings to take place on church property then the priests could participate. I admire Mr Salveson for his courage and once again the trength of Father Hesburgh has been demonstrated.

God bless those two gentlemen and Notre Dame Magazine for publishing the story.

Jerry Lunden ’57

Maybe the only good thing to come out of this sex scandel in the Church is that we are now hearing more about forgiveness and less about money. Freedom’s just another word for no one left to forgive.

Tom Wich ’63

For the Summer 2003 issue, I’m predicting you’re going to draw a truckload of hate mail for running the article by John Salveson. I h