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Fitzpatrick must check his facts

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, January 29, 2004

I am astonished that The Observer published Edward B. Fitzpatrick’s letter in yesterday’s edition without checking the facts. Mr. Fitzpatrick’s central charge is false. When a faculty colleague in the Department of Theology, who also served as confessor and spiritual director for a number of students, brought these allegations to my attention, I reported them immediately to then-Provost Timothy O’Meara. His investigation led eventually to Fr. Burtchaell’s resignation. I made no comment in the press about the case because the matter was under investigation. As a lawyer, Mr. Fitzpatrick should understand that. Finally, it would surprise Fr. Burtchaell and many others in the Notre Dame community, then and now, that he would one day be described in The Observer as my “good friend and theological soulmate.”

Rev. Richard P. McBrien

Professor of Theology

Jan. 29