Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

retraction & correction

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 16, 2003

On November 13 the Erie Times-News cited a Knight-Ridder news story concerning the U.S. bishops' response to the role assigned the National Review Board in the abuse crisis; the story contained the following line:

Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pa., bluntly told the board it would be better off to focus on writing about the vast majority of dedicated and generous priests whose only wish is to serve and do good.

Teeing-off on that report (which had gone unchallenged for several days), your servant had some caustic remarks in OTR about Bishop Trautman's perspective. This past weekend the Erie Times-News carried a letter from Trautman in which he denies the report and quotes himself from the EWTN videotape of the meeting:

"When Pope John Paul came to Toronto for World Youth Day, he spoke these words to our young people: 'The harm done by some priests and religious to the young and vulnerable fills us all with a deep sense of sadness and shame. But I think of the vast majority of dedicated priests and religious, whose only wish is to serve and do good.' The thousands and thousands of young people assembled there in Toronto cheered, applauded. I suggest that's the proper perspective."

I contacted a woman in attendance at the USCCB meeting, who read me her notes on Trautman's intervention, which corroborate Trautman's version (members of the National Review Board were present at the time and his remarks were addressed to them as well as to his fellow bishops). I have e-mailed the journalist who wrote the Knight-Ridder story asking for a clarification or correction and have received no response.

While Bishop Trautman is wrong that the "proper perspective" for Catholic youth should be that of the review board as well, he clearly did not say what the Knight-Ridder story reported he said, that the board would be "better off" writing about the majority of good priests.

I retract the attributions made in my earlier post and apologize for magnifying Bishop Trautman's blameworthiness in this matter.

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