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?
I think the church should allow Priests to get marry. This would stop some of the sexual scandal in the Catholic Church.
Angela Moore, Boston, Mass
Cardinal Law should resign and should be indicted for aiding and abetting criminal behavior resulting in long term harm to children and obstruction of justice.
As a clinical neuropsychologist and practicing Catholic, I have a range of emotions from shock to anger about the developments in Boston. I was born and raised in New Bedford. I learned yesterday that an elementary school friend's brother needed to resign from the City Council due to flashbacks of abuse at the hands of James Porter. Cardinal Law must step down. The re-traumatizing of victims due to sececy and lies must stop. Bishops Daly, Banks, and McCormack and all accomplices must step down. They must also be held accountable for possible crinimal conspiracy. The Church desparately needs reform since this appears to be a systemic failure of governance and supervision. Nothing short of a sharing with the laity of the power to screen and appointment of priests and bishops will restore the moral authority of the Church worldwide. Congratulations or the Boston media on their faithful reporting of this story. NO MORE SECRETS! NO MORE LIES!
Michael A. Nicholas Ph.D., Paducah, KY
Give lay people the power to remove Priests with a majority vote. Cardnial BF Law must be fired, and not allowed to work in the Catholic Church.
Matt Dugan, Cambridge
It's very simple. Locally, Cardinal Law must step down. Can people forgive? Of course. But they won't forget. So, he's got to go. Overall, the Church (and the Vatican) need to rethink the policies of the past. The Church needs to be updated to modern times. Their stances on issues, such as celibacy, should be revisited. Having said that, pedophilia is a crime and should never be tolerated at any level. No parish or diocese should shelter or harbor pedophiles. Harboring a criminal is a felony and punishable by law. The same rules should apply to religious leaders. I am also concerned with the probablilty that many of these so-called victims see an opportunity for financial gain, and are submitting bogus claims to the church with the hope of a cash settlement. That's sleazy as well.
Christopher, Boston, MA
How come the Archdiocese of Boston is not taking the calls for Cardinal Laws resignation seriously? It is such an obvious and necessary action to take so the Archdiocese can begin the healing. It is apparent to me that there is zero confidence in Law. What is the delay? Need we start a petition? A boycott of Sunday masses to be heard?
David M, Wellesley
Rank and file Catholics should do as any dissatisfied stakeholder should do when an organization repeatedly ignores its mistakes, that is, leave the Church. That is the only way the Church will take the steps that are necessary to break up the "ol' boys' network" that makes the soil fertile for its arrogance. When the revenue streams dry, the Church will act to make the necessary changes, including getting rid of its celibacy requirement. While this will not solve all the problems that are afflicting the Church, one cannot ignore that an important dose of diversity in the Church leadership would be an important step in returning to Church to its people.
Joe Gydus, Bedford
Obviously, the Catholic Church should adopt a no-nonsense policy towards dealing with sexually abusive priests. Priests who have sexually abused people should be defrocked, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Regardless of any "treatment" they may receive, such individuals can no longer be trusted to keep their impulses in check.
Ken Burke, West Hartford, CT
I think there must be change on two different levels. First, the catholic religion must go back to it's roots. When the religion was formed 2,000 years ago, it was family oriented. Priests were married with families. These families were the religion. The religion must allow priests to marry and have families. It should allow women to become priests. Secondly, for a person to enter the priesthood, they should have to undergo psychological evaluations, training and background checks.
Catholic Girl, Lowell
My question is not whether or not Cardinal Law should resign but why is he not being prosecuted. I have read statements to the effect that he has been trying to protect the Church from scandal, what about the children? My opinion is that he allowed these children to be molested. As a person he should be ashamed, never mind as a leader of the Catholic Church. Why is he being protected? THis is not a separation of church and state this is a crime! He should be in jail along with all his fellow priests.
Mary , Rockland