Having moved to “the country” a few years ago, I look forward to your Sunday paper for a good read. Sept. 29 was an exception.
The abuse and coverup at St. John’s Abbey and elsewhere is abhorrent and I sympathize with the parents and their children who were victimized. But what purpose was there in subjecting us to a lurid bedroom scene on page one? Maybe to further the efforts of attorney Jeff Anderson, who apparently has a personal vendetta against the Catholic Church since his child was molested by a counselor who was a former priest? Your usual reporting of sexual abuse spares us the details.
My grandfather worked for St. John’s University and Abbey in the 1800s and my son is there as a student today. Your black portrayal of that beautiful place does a disservice to 99 percent of the holy men who have made it a safe and loving place for young boys to grow into fine men. My husband and many of his friends are alumni of the university and prep school and, like most of the monks, were totally unaware of the horrible acts of the few, whose names were publicly revealed first by Abbot John Klassen last spring. Does the identity of 13 weak or predatory men really define a “sexual subculture that flourished there for decades”?
If it was flourishing, why didn’t we notice?
— Kathleen Ziegler, Paynesville, Minn.
“Behind the Pine Curtain”
A letter to the editor printed in the Star Tribune on October 2, 2002