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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 16

Cardinal Law has totally lost all ability to lead the archdiocese many times over. It is no secret that people in his position are very highly educated and from the very beginning of this scandal with his convienient lapses of memory (a.k.a. lies) has been on a downward spiral regarding his credabilty and believabilty his continued arrogance regarding the entire situation is cause in itself for his immediate removal from office. The priest perpetrating the abuse is accountable for every damaging action and once Law became aware abuses were happening he became accountable for each instance of abuse from the point of knowledge forward... the man should not only be removed from any and all autority but should be in jail for the rest of his life. I am outraged the archdiocese would even consider hiding behind bankruptcy. They are fully accountable for damages caused by the total lack of concern of the children. The church continues to enjoy tax free status on many properties that are not being utilized for ministry of any kind and they should be forced to sell off those properties if needed to pay what they so fully owe and the conection should be made all the way to Rome if need be for I am sure knowledge of all the abuses has made it's way very high into Rome. If Law continues to live outside of jail and the archdiocese is allowed to hide behind bankruptcy then there is no justice being served.

Jim L, Chelmsford, MA

Can someone please tell me why Cardinal Law is not behind Bars?

Doug, Somerville

Law needs to resign immediately. I am from New England but live in Virginia and know that what he hasn't done (and done) has effected the relationship of Catholics to their church throughout the country. The bishops have lost their moral leadership and the trust of people. I have come to believe that he doesn't care about anything but his position. It is also about time that bishops elsewhere stand up and tell him to resign. The silence of their voices make many of them suspect as leaders. They all seem to have forgotten to ask the question of "WJJD?" Perhaps we need to mail WWJD bracelets to Law and others to remind them of their responsibility to act like Jesus.

Laura, Woodbridge, VA

What will it take for Law to resign? The Catholic church is falling apart and he is to blame. Who does he think he is? He should be in jail. . .anyone else in his position would be.

Martha, Wakefield

Nothing will ever happen to resolve the current crisis unless Mr. Law swallows his enormous pride and resigns, and at this point, the only way for this to happen is for the clergy and people of Boston to speak up and demand it...speak the truth and be free.

Brother Tom, New York

If Cardinal Law and his cohorts ran any other private or public company they would would be prosecuted. Where is Tom Reilly? Oh, he's busy preparing his appeal in the Microsoft ruling!!

Steve, Boston

Cardinal law is the worst kind of scum . He sits on his throne detached from all the lives he has participated in destroying through his unwillingness to act . Crucify him ! I am an ex alter boy who now will have absolutely nothing to do with the hipocracy that is the Catholic church .

mark, watertown

Given human nature I can understand, although it disturbs me deeply, that in addition to Priests that abuse teenage boys, there are others that abuse girls, and cocaine and batter house-keepers. (One can only imagine that in a different vocation he would have battered his wife.) I can firmly believe that Cardinal Law saw this behavior as scandalous, just as I see it as immoral, illegal and scandalous. Unlike the Cardinal, I see this behavior as entirely incompatible with their continued standing as Priests in good status. In any secular organization or enterprise in the public view evidence would have been turned over to the police or District Attorney and the alleged miscreant would have been put on administrative leave or fired. Instead the Cardinal engaged in a policy of cover-up, concealment and denial. Did he receive any sign of remorse, repentance, restitution or reform before shuffling the miscreants? Cardinal Law (and seemingly Medeiros as well before him) has done a serious injury to the Church and the faithful religious and laity that love the Church. If I could, I would plead with him to make a good confession, to repent and to resign. I will try to attend the 11am Mass at Holy Cross Cathedral as suggested by the Voice of the Faithful. Peace be with you, Bruce

Ruce, Marlborough

With no thanks to the catholic priests and the Boston Globe, I will most likely never set foot in a church, of any denomination, again.

jonny, chelsea

Martin Luther knew it over 500 years ago. I feel bad for priests who are good & genuine, their profession now has little or no credibility because of the crimes of their colleagues, the deception of the whole church, and the Cardinal's lies. It would be interesting to be at the Pearly Gates and watch him explain can't lie when you get THERE - time for ANOTHER Reformation.....

AFG, Saugus

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