Be a hero: Show compassion at Delbarton

Apr 27, 2012 | All, Jim Hennigan, Opinion

Your ongoing portrayal of alleged abuses at Delbarton, my alma mater, is totally disconnected from my student experience. I remain grateful to the lay teachers and clergy who ensured I left Delbarton with the values that formed my moral foundation. I would betray those educators if I didn’t express my support for the alleged victims of abuse at Delbarton and my profound dismay with the members of the Abbey community who, by their silence and acquiescence to inept leadership, defy the values they imparted to me.

I am baffled by the leadership’s hesitancy to be unconditionally compassionate to the men who have come forward. Nobody has to condemn accused monks to express empathy. It’s dangerous to withhold compassion until the facts play out in the legal arena: Shunning or lashing out against victims sends the worst possible message to future victims and predators alike.

It is not too late to be heroic, beginning with a gesture as simple as demonstrating compassion and appreciation for people who come forward. The more of us who perform this simple yet heroic act — including monks, faculty, students, parents, alumni and others — the safer Delbarton will be for tomorrow’s students.

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Jim Hennigan, Delbarton Class of 1980, France
April 27, 2012
Letters to the Editor
The Star-Ledger