From: Father Phil Bloom
To: Schram, Ken
Subject: your more thoughtful reflection

Dear Ken,

Thank you for your “more thoughtful reflection.” It took some courage and I appreciated it. I am heartened that you recognize the slur against priests was hurtful. Nevertheless, I believe you should understand why it hurt. It was like someone slandering the current generation of Southern politicians for lynching’s which took place back in the fifties. And then saying the slander was OK because ones parents came from the South.

The point is not that you happen to know priests whom you judge to be “good…decent…dedicated,” (whoopee!) but that we have today what amounts to a whole new ball game. The environment in the Seattle archdiocese – and I believe in most other dioceses – is radically different from the early eighties and before. We have faced this issue and dealt with it in a way that other institutions (e.g. public schools) have not. We will certainly live with the shame, but don’t we deserve a little credit for what we have done in the last twenty years?

I am not blaming you, Ken. The frustrating thing for me and other priests is that the media does not report the whole story. And it seems like one of the main reasons is deference to lawyers who plan on milking the Church for a lot more money.

Sincerely,

Fr. Phil Bloom


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From: Schram, Ken [mailto:kenschram@komo4news.com]
Sent: Lunes, 10 de Octubre de 2005 08:53 a.m.
To: Father Phil Bloom
Subject: RE: your more thoughtful reflection

Fr. Phil -

I appreciate the thought behind your email, but I take issue with the contention behind your point that archdioces' across the country have dealt with this issue in a manner we should expect.

For generations, the church circumvented the law; taking measures that assured priests who had molested children would not be arrested, charged or prosecuted.

These priest were, in fact, protected. At best they were sent to counseling. At worst, they were simply reassigned to other parishes without any thought given to other children they might prey upon. What changed all this was not the church realizing they had a problem, but rather the public attention that has been drawn to the issue.

While I certainly no fan of lawyers who seize the opportunity to convince past victims to file lawsuits, I think it's disengenuous to summarize this lingering problem by faulting the lawyers.

Best,
Ken Schram

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Ken, my questions was: Doesn’t the archdiocese deserve some credit for what it has achieved in the past two decades?

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In my opinion, very little.
It is only doing what it has been forced to do.
I've included an article for you to read - out of Los Angeles.
It's in today's paper there.
Schram

NATIONAL | October 12, 2005 Los Angeles Files Recount Decades of Priests' Abuse By JOHN M. BRODER The personnel files reveal case after case in which the church was warned of abuse but failed to protect its parishioners.

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Is that your judgment on Archbishop Hunthausen?

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Overall, I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for him, but to be honest, I simply don't know what he knew, how he reacted and what he did - or what he was told to do - in respect to this particular issue. Schram

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How then can you be so confident that the Archdiocese achieved “very little”? In 1985 Archbishop Hunthausen inaugurated reforms which resulted in 18 years without one new case of clergy sexual abuse of a minor. In your opinion, Ken, how do other institutions (e.g. Seattle Public Schools) compare with that record?