, Salem, MA

March 22, 2013

Letter: Come see what courage looks like

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Some time ago, I nominated a humble Catholic priest, Thomas Doyle, as a potential recipient of the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice. The committee selected the Rev. Doyle, along with Horace Seldon, to receive the award, which will be bestowed Tuesday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Peabody Essex Museum.

It is my hope that many area Catholics who were genuinely appalled at the sexual abuse scandal will turn out in numbers to express their appreciation of Tom Doyle, earliest “whistle-blower” who refused to allow the powerful hierarchy to quietly bury the issue.

The Salem Award is given in memory of the victims of the Salem Witchcraft Delusion of 1692. That historical event wreaked horror throughout the community. Its victims are long dead, but their memory remains. Salem was also an epicenter of the Church’s sexual abuse scandal. Many local children and families suffered horribly because of it. Some of the victims are dead; some are still with us.

Doyle stood up to power and said, “Stop.” I hope that you will stand up for Doyle and say, “Thank you.”

Tickets to the award ceremony are $10 and are available at There is also a dinner at the Hawthorne Hotel prior to the award ceremony. Tickets to both the dinner and ceremony are $60. If you have a student in your family who you think would benefit from this experience, their ticket is free with your purchased ticket. Take them with you to see what courage looks like.

Brendan Walsh