O'Brien is the new Irsay

March 08, 2010

In its coverage of the Catholic schools closures, The Sun continues to refer to Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O'Brien. Please correct this error. The prelate could not have made it plainer that the city of Baltimore, the cradle of American Catholicism, senior see of the United States, home of the nation's first cathedral, is dead to him. Baltimore has too many people of limited means, too many children of dark skins, for Father O'Brien. He has misread Matthew to mean, "Where your suburbs are well-heeled, where your mall parking lots are lousy with Lexuses, there and there only will we put out hearts -- and schools."

For the tens of thousands who make up the Cardinal Gibbons family, the lightning bolt that hit them this week had the sickening feel of the end of the Colts a quarter century ago, with Mr. O'Brien playing the role of Robert Irsay. He showed zero understanding of the value of the institution and its people -- the tremendous achievements of the past and the huge potential for the future. He made heavy financial demands on the school, which it met despite his subversion of the effort with his nay-saying. Confident that the school's future was assured, the Gibbons family was stunned on Wednesday with the news that he had ordered the Mayflower vans to pull up. The House that Built Ruth will be no more. The Archbishop of show-me-the-cash, Father O'Brien, Robertus Irsay Redivivus, has done his work.

George Angell, Baltimore

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