The Jesuit university I went to responds to the diocesan scandals in Pennsylvania by renaming buildings. “The recent release of more than 1,300 pages of grand jury proceedings detailing sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania and failures by Church leaders in responding to these situations is justifiably generating international attention and outrage,” the Rev. Scott Pilarz, S. J., wrote in a letter to “Members of the University Community.”
“Since the report’s release last week, the University has considered how best to respond to the deeply disturbing report and to past honors and recognition it has bestowed upon individuals named in it,” Rev. Pilarz, president of the University of Scranton stated. “Earlier today, I consulted with a group of administrators, faculty, alumni and student leaders to recommend a course of action to the Board of Trustees.”
“This afternoon, the Board met in special session and unanimously approved our recommendations. With sympathy for and in solidarity with victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Scranton, The University of Scranton will rescind honorary degrees and rename campus buildings recognizing Bishops Jerome D. Hannan, J. Carroll McCormick, and James C. Timlin. As documented in the report, these Bishops covered up the crimes and misdeeds of men who were under their jurisdiction and placed children in harm’s way.”
In fairness, there’s no evidence the university was complicit in any of their sins.