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?
Cardinal Sins. I think the best way for the folks in the pews to express their outrage is with their wallets. Money talks, and I think if the faithful in Boston wants a change of leadership, withholding their financial support of the Diocese will precipitate change faster than any other means.
Bill Nolan, Fortuna CA
Unfortunately Tom Reilly's decision not to explore criminal charges against Cardinal Law leaves all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston with no choice but to keep their children from interacting with priests. I am not condemning all priests, for I know that the vast majority of them are wonderful people who are worthy of a ton of respect and admiration. However, given that Cardinal Law knew that particular priests were preying upon young boys and did nothing (in fact, he did worse, since he actually took actions to cover-up for their terrible deeds) no person can now trust him or look to him for leadership. For me personally, I cannot remain part of any organization which would allow a monster such as Cardinal Law to remain in a position of power. I'd hoped that if criminal charges were brought against him that the Pope (who also knew about what was going on and in fact STILL KNOWS ABOUT PRIESTS DESTROYING YOUNG PEOPLE'S LIVES YET DOES NOTHING!) would force him to resign. Now, nothing will happen, except for people leaving the church. Which is quite ironic, given that the people ARE the church.
I grew up in the Archdiocese of Boston and had many friends who were priests. I attended many functions and events while in High School and College with them, both in a group and individually. I even attended a high school where a former priest was accused of sexual misconduct (which to this day I don’t believe). I guess if I were smart, I’d find one of these priests who is now deceased and accuse him of misconduct. I bet the Archdiocese of Boston would pay off quickly. My point is, I believe a vast majority of these accusations are falsified, but that doesn’t excuse the cover-up. Rumors are that Cardinal Law will resign later today. I hope he doesn’t…. remember what they did Cardinal Bernadine in Chicago. The Church will survive and probably grow stronger. Cardinal Law hang in there.
Cardinal Law needs to step down now. How dare he continue to sit in the mansion that our forfathers built for the church, and refuse to even make a statement? This behavoir is beyond arrogance, its demeaning to all church members and the public at large. I hope he is prosecuted, and the trial is live on Court TV. Then, maybe the Vatican would take notice of the pain and disgust we feel towards church leaders. Its time for Vatican III, and it won't come soon enough. Meanwhile, my family's weekly contributions have ceased, and will not resume until the Cardinal steps down, and a sweep begins.
Maureen, Schenectady NY (Born and breed in Beantown)
What's Law hiding? Why would he do something so terrible as allow a molester to continue on in his duties? Why does Law believe that priests are above the criminal law? Would he have behaved the same way if he discovered a priest was embezzling from a parish - just re-assign him to another parish - I bet not.
If we judge people "on the content of their character" then these men should be treated as harshly as anyone else accused of such things.
The issue of celebacy has nothing to do with molesting children. If celebacy were the problem, we would be reading about priests and women, not priests and children. People need to rethink this answer.
LOTTIE PARKER, YPSILANTI
Law M U S T go!!
I am a life long Catholic who attended Our Lady of Lourdes in Chicago. I am terribly dismayed that the leadership of the church would deliberately protect pedophiles and abusers in the name of protecting the church. Our faith can withstand scrutiny, but we can not withstand lies, deceit and outright criminal behavior. It is apparent that some sins apply only to the masses and not to the prelates!
Stephen M. Findlay, Valdosta, Ga
Do we expect to change human nature? Let's cease the idealistic attitude that we are perfect. We are anxious to jump on those who get caught, yet the rest of us, who are guilty of sin in many ways, just hide in the dark while crying out shame. Sex is a problem that will be here forever and we have to learn to live with it.