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Time’s “Persons of The Year”


Time magazine has selected three women its “Persons of the Year” (what an infelicitous phrase; “Women of the Year” is vastly better). They are two corporate whistleblowers (WorldCom, Enron) and that FBI agent. I find this selection problematic, but defensible. What I find hard to understand, though, is why they would honor these three whistleblowers while ignoring the whistleblowers in the Archdiocese of Boston: the sex-abuse victims who came forward to discuss what had happened to them. The Church scandal that began in Boston and spread beyond has been one of the year’s more dominant news stories. If Time wanted to find a single figure to personify the new attitude that made this long-overdue reckoning possible, it could have selected Judge Constance Sweeney, the Boston judge who broke ranks with her fellow Boston jurists by deciding that she wasn’t going to allow the Archdiocese to keep secret any longer overwhelming evidence of its actions in reassigning molester priests. Judge Sweeney doesn’t fit the strict definition of whistleblower, but without her saying, “No more,” and releasing those documents, we would today be in a more ignorant world, and a worse one, if you ask me.


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