January 25, 2004
January 4, 2004
Your thoughts on the priest sexual abuse scandal
The priest sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has been unfolding for 3 months now, not just locally, but also nationally and overseas. We'd like to hear your thoughts on what steps the church should take to address the problem. What can rank-and-file Catholics do? How can church officials regain the trust of the faithful?
With all due respect I do not believe allowing priests to marry would touch the problem. Pedophiles are pedophiles - they are not men who are sexually frustrated due to lack of a woman in their life. Married men molest children as well. That said, I am not going to judge Cardinal Law, but he is not longer useful to counsel and minister to Catholics after what has come out. He cannot do his job and we in Boston have no strong leader in the church.
Jenna, So. Boston, MA
I most definitely think that Cardinal Law should resign.And then I think that the Church should stop covering up for priests and show a little more consideration for the poor people who have been abused.
Cardinal Law should resign. He has knowingly allowed children to be abused, and disgrgarded as well as dismissed the emotional havoc thrust upon their lives. He is the head of a very dysfunctional family i.e; some members of the clergy who make up the Catholic Church. The collusion must end, the denail must cease, Law must go...NOW!
Kim Beamon, Cambridge
First of all, if you look at the scandal internationally, I think that it needs to be ascertained that the Pope is indeed truly at the helm. He has Parkinson's disease, and from what I have read, this illness, in the advanced stage, affects the mind. What I am driving at is: who, in the Vatican, is really handling the issue of clerical sexual preditors? And, who in the Vatican is making decisions, or influencing the Pope? I feel as if the entire hierarchy in the Church is untrustworthy. How can we be sure that the people running the Church are telling the truth about who is running things?
Anonymous, Queens, NY (former Bostonian)
The Cardinal must resign NOW!
Richard J Bradley, Cupertino, California
What's lacking most in the Catholic Church is accountability. Every priest and every member of the Catholic hierarchy needs to be accountable to someone. Law and the other cardinals and bishops have been able to get away with so much for so long because they have been accountable not to the Vatican, but only to themselves. Since U.S. Catholics comprise only 6 percent of the world's Catholic population (not enough to command the Vatican's undivided attention even during a crisis of this proportion)the Catholic laity need to take back their church with grass root movements and withholding of collection money and donations.
Mary Ann Herrington, Dunkirk, New York
I've lost my faith in the so called "Princes of the Church"Cardinal Law is as guilty as the priests he's been covering for. All my life I've been a devoted catholic and tried to follow the Church teachings.. rigth now I feel that all that I believed was funded in lies and that if a Cardinal lets a priest say Mass and give comunion when he has commited one of the most horribles sins .. then everything seems to be a fabrication..a cruel farse...all that secrecy just to keep us thinking that the Church is infalible.that as long as nobody knows what's going on is alright to let priests comit those horrible crimes..I think Cardinal Law should leave..and is going to take a long time for us to trust "the Princes "again.. For me the floor disapeared from under my feet..I won't be able to go to Mass again...not knowing what kind of bussines the officiant were before coming to church..I know there are many good devoted priests... but I won't take a chance.God is everywhere..and we can communicate with Him ..It is very sad for me to take this decision but I'm a very old person and I cannot acept this lies.Cardinal Law should be made responsible for covering those crimes.
Gina de los Rios, Southbury
Why are people suggesting Law just resign? He has been a accessory to multiple crimes. He should be tried for each and every crime he has enabled these priests, who have been accused and conviced of molesting children, have committed. He is an accessory to child molestation. He has aided and harbored criminals. Bernard Law is a criminal. He should not be given the chance to resign. He should stripped of his title, his job, and tried in a court of law.
I hope Cardinal Law does NOT resign because if he does Rome will be able to rationalize this as an American press problem. Also, his blindness would be a greater impetus to the reform/revolt which should come sooner than later. Jim Carroll was correct in seeing this as the Chernobal of Rome, a precursor to the dissembling of the empire.
Charles Morin, Brighton
I agree that Cardinal Law should resign from his position as leader of the Boston Diocese. His inaction to prevent continuing abuse of the children in his care is inexcusable. However I disagree that this problem indicates that the Catholic Church must now allow married priests and many other changes I see being advocated. Wake up folks, it is not only single men who are guilty of abusing children. Married men and, to a lesser degree, single and married women also have been found guilty of this disgusting crime. The fact that priests are single and not allowed to marry is not the cause of the abuse. Does anyone recall the similar problem various scouting groups encountered not too many years ago? A small percentage of the adult scout leaders were found to be abusing boys in their troops. Did the Boy Scouts mandate that men could no longer be single and scout leaders? No, because there were married men guilty of this as well. As for using this problem with abusive priests to force the acceptance of women into the priesthood. Again, apples and oranges. They have nothing to do with each other. The Catholic Church is not going to allow women to become priests due to this situation, nor for any other situation. Another thing to remember is that the United States represents only about 6% of the Catholics in the world, so the opinions of this country are not reflected around the rest of the world. The Church hierarchy is not going to allow a small minority of the Church dictate how the larger Church operates. Plus this problem, while present in other countries, does not appear to be as prevalent as here. Could the reality that the United States is a very permissive, maybe too permissive society, have something to do with the larger portion of the priests experiencing sociological problems? Gee, can't be that, because then we would not be able to say that it is someone else's fault. Yes, there is a problem in the US Catholic Church with abusive priests. Let's concentrate on this and fix this problem. It is not the religious beliefs of the Catholic Church that are at fault here. We have the failings of human beings to blame for this crisis, not the failings of a religious faith.
Dave Desroches, Worcester, MA