Sunday, November 24, 2002

An interview with Monsignor Foster of Boston, twice removed for on the basis of false accusations.

No one in authority, not Cardinal Bernard F. Law or any other bishop, has apologized to him for the way he was treated, Foster said in an interview last week. And, he said, it is an apology he deserves.

In an archdiocese still reeling from disclosures about the warm letters Law sent to serial pedophiles like defrocked priest John J. Geoghan, Foster's hopes for a meeting with the cardinal have gone unrealized - even though the two men concelebrated Mass last Sunday.

''Yes, I am angry at the treatment I have received from an institution I have committed my life to,'' Foster said. Without citing Law by name, he said, ''I would wish that someone with institutional authority would sit down with me and talk to me about my experience, and the feelings that I've had, the emotional rollercoaster I've been on, the questions that remain.''

He is puzzled, too, at what his friends believe are insufficient efforts by the church to fulfill its promise to help restore his reputation. ''For the last 11 months, we have put a lot of resources into helping the cardinal with reputational issues. So this is not something new, restoring someone's reputation,'' he said.

Yet despite the focus on his case, Foster says he has no interest in being ''the poster boy for the falsely accused.'' Foster says it is the victims of priests, and not him, who deserve the church's undivided attention.

''What I've been through doesn't compare to what these [victims] have been through. They need to hear how sorry the church is for what's been done. They need the apology. They need healing,'' he said. ''They need to be reached out to. For people in authority, that's their first obligation.''





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