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?
I think the media has 'beaten' this story to death. We all know stuff happened, but is it worth headline news for almost a year now. This story gets more headline coverage than 9-11 and it's impact on our world.
As a practicing Catholic, I am offended at the way the situation has been handled. At first I believed that maybe Cardinal Law, though he showed awful judgement, might be the right person to lead the Church back to normalcy. I no longer think so, his time has come to go. I think the Globe has done a good service in providing coverage of this tragedy, but I agree wiht whoever said that you have to wade through the anti-Catholic bias, examine the facts and make up your own conclusions from it. However dissapointed I am in it's leadership, I cannot simply discard my faith in the Church because of all this, as it is the realest and purest thing in my life. I'm saddened that many people (the abused and the everyone else) have lost their faith and pray that they can find the closure they need to come back. Please remember that we don't have faith in men, but in Jesus and what He did for us.
Bernard Law keeps referring to his and others' actions as mistakes. These weren't mistakes, they were DELIBERATE acts to cover up crimes to protect themselves and their cartel while innocent people were being brutalized behind the scenes. Law should not just resign, that's not nearly enough, he should end up in cedar junction with other criminal priests!
Law should be removed from office. His actions more than border on criminal and are definitely not priestly. He has blinders on if he seriously thinks he can continue to lead and supervise.
Cynthia Caton, Cumberland/RI
All religions are able to exist only by restricting and controlling their members. It is impossible to ever control mankind's biological imperatives, love, sex and validation and yet religions continue to try. Religion is an outdated method of explaining life on earth and is the main cause of war around the globe. Good luck believers because as long as "your religion is right" there will be conflict and tragedy among people.
William Taylor, Gloucester
I want to see his college transcript from Harvard; if he is intelligent, how can he continue to be so irrationally insensitive to the people he vowed to serve? His reactions to the victims and to the efforts of lay groups such as Voice of the Faithful to bring forth discussion on this problem aren't the norm of an intelligent, well-rounded, caring person in a service industry. I don't feel comfortable going to Mass on Sunday because I feel I'm supporting his nonaction far more than I'm supporting the victims, the many decent clergy serving today (including those in my hometown parish)and fellow parishioners. I'll likely join VOTF because this group is more in touch with this problem than the Boston Archdiocese hierarchy. Funds could be collected and set aside for specific purposes via a bank account. Here's a savings suggestion right here that may benefit the Archdiocese too: Do you need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the salary of a public relations spokesperson for the Archdiocese? If there has been a campaign to reinstill parishioners' support in the Archdiocese of Boston, it obviously isn't working. In fact, it continues to become worse. Either Cardinal Law is getting bad advice or he simply doesn't care about any parishioners' concerns. Better he should take a long walk by himself, really think things through, and announce his resignation, with no one from the Archdiocese by his side.
Lisa Connell, Hull
What a conundrum the church is in. Raised catholic I no longer practice my faith
I think the Cardinal lost moral authority a long time ago, way before the scandal broke. He should be put in jail for allowing these priests to continue hurting children. His arrogance is pathetic and it's costing the church dearly in money and membership. I will not allow my children (not yet born) to become part of the catholic church as a result of the scandal, unless they choose to do so at home, away from any church. The worst is as I was growing older and with the loss of my grandfather, I was considering turning to the church and becoming more involved, but with all that's gone on, I now realize it's all a crock. The church is nothing but a cult for child molesters, and we're now just learning this fact.
Thank you Boston Globe. No one else including our media hound AG has had the courage to report or do something about the terrible scandal in the Catholic Church. To those of you who say "move on", that's what Law did in 1993 and look what happened. More children were harmed. Law and his cohorts must go. It is time for us Catholics to take back our church. VOTF is finally waking up to the fact that the Cardinal cannot be believed or trusted.
I'd like to respond to the person G, who stated "leave the Catholic faith and find another." For the record G, its obvious your young and immature or else you would know, that this has NOTHING to do with the Catholic-religious faith. It has to do with the individual persons involved in organizing/managing the Catholic Archdiocese. You don't become a pedophile because your a priest or Catholic, Cardinal Law gave pedophiles an open door to children. Its obviouse that any man can become a priest, as you can see, even pedophiles. Cardinal Law has to go, and the Archdicese needs to be more strict on the priesthood, i.e background checks, etc.