There is a letter to the editor in the Boston Herald today, and since they don’t put them on their web site, I will reproduce parts of it here. The gist of the letter responds to a story in which a woman was thankful that there weren’t protesters outside her church when Bishop Richard Lennon, the apostolic administrator for Boston, visited last weekend. So this letter-writer felt compelled to respond:
Several of us were outside the cathedral in Manchester Sunday to protest Bishop John McCormick (sic) and the role he has played in this scandal.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of worrying about survivors, supporters and signs, that each parish could have at least one person with one sign, “Remember the survivors” or “Heal the church”? This person would be doing something to ensure this never happens to another child.
That’s precisely the point: It does nothing. The letter-writer has fallen for the modern, Clintonian fallacy that if only we say “I care” then we’re doing something to change things. If only we would stand outside and protest, that means I’m a better person. Sorry, but it does nothing. The only people ensuring that this never happens to another child are the parents who are more vigilant over the children, the bishops enforcing moral behavior among their priests, the rectors cleaning up the seminaries, the police arresting perverts, and the DAs prosecuting them.
Any fool can stand on a sidewalk with a sign, singing “We shall overcome.” But it accomplishes nothing. The only people doing something to root out the causes of the crisis are those who are actually doing something.