Draft of Letter to Editor

Topics: John Klassen, Pat Marker, Raj Chaphalkar
[Webmaster's Note: The following is a draft of a letter sent to the editor of The Record on September 11, 2006. The letter was reviewed by Saint John's Abbey officials, who provided feedback to the student. The student's letter was resubmitted and published [ View ] on September 18, 2006. Webmaster Pat Marker also commented [ View ] on the letter. ]

Dear Editor,

Your article on St. John’s Abbey’s sex abuse allegations (Sept. 7) details the story of Pat Marker, former prep student and 1983 abuse victim who resigned from the Abbey’s external review board Aug. 18 over disputed disclosure procedures. Your article fails to mention the vindictive and libelous nature of Marker’s behavior since his resignation.

Marker’s online website, re-launched Aug. 23, is an unchecked reservoir of slander and contempt against Collegeville.

Since resigning, Marker has used the site to publish the review board’s confidential documents, including transcripts of victims’ private statements. He also lists names of St. John’s monks who have been – and initials of those who he predicts will soon be – accused of sexual misconduct. Disclaimers carefully eschew certifying the accuracy of documents posted, dodging legal action against the site.

“This website has the potential to heal,” Marker says of his project. However, his goal of “notifying potential victims where these men worked,” as he told the St. Cloud Times, serves rather to foster contempt against St. John’s than to promote healing.

Openness must and does originate from the Abbey, not Pat Marker. Wickedly publicizing victims’ files without their permission cannot force open disclosure.

Marker and all abuse victims should be shown compassion and support for recovery. That does not, however, warrant free reign to make underhanded attacks on illicit websites. Abbot John Klassen should emphatically request that Marker’s site be removed, and remind him that he cannot promote healing by vilifying the entire community of Collegeville.

[Name Withheld] Junior, St. John’s University

Topics: John Klassen, Pat Marker, Raj Chaphalkar

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