In regard to the removal of Rev. Sylvester Hoppe’s name from a chapel at Camp Geiger (9/28, Metro), I was sad to see that the Boy Scouts of America have decided to ignore the major tenet of American justice: that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Hoppe contributed to the Boy Scout movement for more than 75 years, and at no time during his service in scouting were any allegations of abuse made against him.
Disproving an allegation of abuse is inherently impossible. But David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and the other rabid zealots who comprise that organization’s body are able to condemn and convict a priest solely on the word of the accused, and they revel in this.
The courts require that guilt be established beyond reasonable doubt. A priest should be tried by the same standard. And the Boy Scouts of America, if they are to live up to their creed, should insist upon it.
Michael E. Benson