On Aug. 3, The (Toledo) Blade chose to print a “letter to the editor” from a writer identified as Marina Joy, Ottawa Hills, which made the claim that Bishop Leonard P. Blair “ignored the cover-up of abuse of children.” In 2009, when a Blade story included a similar claim, Bishop Blair issued the following statement, which bears repeating:
“Since becoming bishop in 2003 I have had to deal with many grave matters, including cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors. I want to assure you that I have never ‘covered up’ anything. Each and every allegation, past and present, has been taken with the utmost seriousness and handled according to the requirements of civil and church law. Above and beyond the law, our diocese has reached out to victims, and the outcome of clergy cases has been made public.
“Every person has a right to his or her good name. As your bishop I want you to know that I reject as false the characterization that appeared in the Blade. At the same time I take to heart what our Lord said, that we are to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who persecute us.”
To report any suspected or actual sexual abuse of a minor by diocesan personnel, immediate contact should be made with local civil authorities and with Frank DiLallo, the Diocese of Toledo victim assistance coordinator. He can be reached at 419-243-2150 (private line) or 419-244-6711, ext. 122 in the Toledo calling area, or 1-800-926-8277, ext. 122 (outside Toledo, within Ohio).