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MESSAGE BOARD / Dec. 5, 2002

In recent weeks, a contrite Cardinal Bernard Law has made emotional apologies for his handling of abusive priests and met with members of a lay Catholic group he had previously shunned. But archdiocesan personnel files released this week have exposed glaring new instances of church negligence and provided more evidence that Law knew of abuse allegations against priests who were allowed to remain on active church duty for years. Facing an estimated 450 abuse claims, the archdiocese may declare bankruptcy. In light of this week's revelations, what are your feelings on the church crisis? Has Law lost the moral authority to lead the archdiocese? Where must Boston Catholics look for leadership? And what should be done to address the church's financial crisis?

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Page 13

This gross indifference to anyone but the priests is demonstrated again, in document after document. The church (read Bernard Law) continues to hide behind inane excuses. It's time for Law to more talk. And bankruptcy??? Give me a break!! Sell some buildings or land or some of the gold...there are plenty of assets.

Maria, Lowell

I think there's a high probability that after enough time passes, all of this will fade from the headlines, the various plaintiffs will either settle or give up in disappointment, and the Archdiocese of Boston will return to business as usual with Bernard Cardinal Law at the helm as if nothing ever happened. That's not what I would like to see happen, but that's what I realistically think will happen: everything will go back to the way it was before this whole mess started, and Cardinal Law and his bishops will continue on as if nothing ever happened, except that in the future they will make sure that no pedophile priests ever again expose the church to expensive lawsuits.

John, Concord

Remember the separation of Church and State? That is why we cannot successfully prosecute.

Katie M, Boston

Cardinal Law is a PIG and the worst example of a human being. He is a monster and should spend the rest of his life in JAIL. How can he not be charged with a crime(s)and how at the very least step down and do at least one good thing in his life. If I every see him in person, I will have to do everything in my power not to slap his disgusting face.

Cathy , Salem

Cardinal Law should most definitely step down AND he should also be prosecuted by the law. How ironic his name LAW,....meanwhile he was not upholding the LAW and obstructing the TRUTH! What kind of religious leader is he????? I look at it as if he were a school principal. Wouldn't a principal who moved sexually abusive teachers from one school to another be fired and possibly prosecuted????? Well Law should be. I am in the process of converting and leaving the Catholic Church (nothing to do with this scandal). I couldn't be happier to no longer consider myself Catholic in light of this mess...The Catholic Church makes me SICK I feel for all Catholics's just terrible. But there are Christian religions out there where this type of hypocrasy does not go on.

Leaving Catholicism, FOXBORO MA

Of course Cardinal Law should step down and be prosecuted for his crimes against children. I thought I had seen it all, but every day a more despicable story comes to light. My stomach turned yesterday when I read about the nuns-in-training who were abused by a priest. Now today there's a story about a priest who fathered two children and sat idly by while their mother killed herself. I'm so very glad that I gave up Catholicism in favor of atheism.

ChickieBaby, Boston, MA

They should all be locked up no matter what their faith is. He should be ashamed of himself! Once again, is religon really beneficial or detrimental to society????

Billy, London

If it was you or I, we would be doing 10 to 30 years at Cedar Junction. Separation of church and state only when it's in the church's favor.

Mary , East Boston

I think it is a disgrace that the men who preach the word of God betray the words of god. Shame, Shame, Shame. There are no real words to express what these man have done. Cardinal law you are just as quilty. I have lost faith and these disgusting men should pay for there disgusting acts. God forgives us for our sins I hope he doesn't forgive us for making the same ones over and over. How can these men live with themselves. Follower's of God I think not... followers of EVIL I say yes.

MaryAnn , Waltham

I would advocate some form of sexually humilliating punishment. Let's see ...... how about PRISON!?

Mike, Boston

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