MD - Victims Glad Baltimore School Stops Honoring Accused Brother
August 5, 2004
Frank Dingle of Catonsville, MD, home 410-744-2398
Kurt Gladsky of Delray Beach FL, 410 377 4949
David Clohessy of St. Louis, cell 314 566 9790 , home 314 645 5915
After Complaints, Clerics Image Will Be Removed From Calvert Hall
A local Catholic high school will no longer honor a cleric who has been allegedly sexually abusing students.
In a recent letter to a molestation victim, a Calvert Hall College High School official said the school will change the name of a golf tournament and an educational program named after Brother Xavier Langon, who is now deceased but was accused of fondling/raping/sodomizing at least two teenaged boys in 1948 and 68. They will also remove Langon’s portrait from the hallway wall.
Two weeks ago, clergy molestation victims who belong to SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) held a sidewalk news conference outside the school and hand delivered a letter to the principal urging him to take these steps. They were joined by leaders of a Catholic lay group, Voice of the Faithful (VOTF). Several individual victims and alums had, for months, made the same requests in private e mails and phone conversations with school officials.
“It’s sad that we had to publicly pressure a Catholic school to take this simple step toward justice and healing” said Helen Weisel, Greater Baltimore VOTF.
“This will help facilitate healing and protect children,” said Francis Bacon of GBSNAP and ACHE, (Abused by Calvert Hall Educators). “It’s a long overdue courtesy that we shouldn’t have even had to ask for.”
Honoring a suspected abuser, SNAP feels, rubs salt into the already deep wounds of Langon’s victims and discourages other victims from coming forward. SNAP wants school leaders to promise no future insensitivity in the future.
SNAP also publicly urged Calvert Hall to:
- write former students and staff urging them to call the cops if they were molested,
- allow men who were abused at the school to speak with the student body, and
- post names of known and suspected abusive ex-employees on the school’s web site.
“We hope the board and administration will soon agree to these reasonable requests too,” said Kurt Gladsky, GBSNAP and ACHE. “We’re a little disappointed we haven’t yet heard back from them on these items.”
The group believes that these steps will help victims heal and prevent future abuse.
At least one other credibly accused molester - Fr. Laurence Brett - worked at the school. To protect children, SNAP wants school officials to aggressively seek out (through letters to alums, school publications and web sites, etc.) others who may have witnessed, suspected or experienced abuse by school staff. They should be urged, SNAP feels, to contact law enforcement, especially since Brett remains a fugitive (most recently living in the Caribbean).
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.