Important clarification

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Monday, May 13, 2002

I thought Eric Fry's Sunday, May 12 article, "Juneau's Catholics respond to the scandal," was well written and balanced. He provided area residents an opportunity to learn about the impact of the scandal on local Catholics.

While I cannot recall the exact wording I used when interviewed, I realized after reading the article that an important clarification needed to be made. Halfway through the article I am quoted as having said that I "knew of no allegations against priests in Southeast now or in the past." While there are no allegations in the present, the historical information available to me does note that there were concerns expressed about a couple of priests in the '80s, neither who have been in Alaska since that time. The information on them is vague and notes that some behavioral concerns were communicated to the Catholic bishop at that time. The available data does not indicate that these priests committed sexual abuse. Still, the fact that an individual verbalized a concern would be viewed by most as an allegation and probably ought to be noted as such.

Michael W. Warfel

Bishop of Juneau

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