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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 32

There's more folks! Do you realize all the files have not been reviewed yet? There's more horrific tales the church is 'covering up'. The catholic church I know today is a cult. I had 12 years of a catholic education and can still say the mass in latin. What a waste of time and energy to find out I was 'duped'. Bernard Law and all the others are criminals and in this country we have a judicial system that was created to impose penalties on those who prey and commit crimes on the weak. Indictments are called for Mr. Reilly. You already have enough evidence to try these people in a court of law!

A Former Catholic, Watertown

I feel strongly that the papers released this week will disgust even those Catholics that have denied to themselves the depth of the problems. It was all too easy to hang the problems on homosexuals. Now we must all face the corruption and decided what we will do about it. I have not given any money to the Church since this all became public. I do attend mass every week. But am extremely disappointed in Rome and the Pope.

Ellin, Winchester

When is the government going to break up this criminal enterprise known as the Boston Arch-Diocese? Bernie the Pimp deserves no better treatment than Zip Connolly or Steve Flemmi got. It's time people woke up and stop contributing money and taking part in this church of pedophiles, drug addicts and sexual devients. The very fact that the Pope has not removed Bernie proves his irrelevancy. Indict Bernie now!!

L. Corricelli, Nashua, NH

The harm done to the Catholic Church by so-called leaders in the archdiocese of Boston is irreparable at the present time. There is no moral credibility at all, proven time and time again. Cardinal Law and his minions, if not now facing criminal charges, should at the very least resign, and take themselves to a "monastery for lifetime prayer."

Joan , Ipswich, MA

Think for yourself Question authority Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself. Think for yourself. Question authority

Maynard, Maynatd

What does being gay have to do with being a pedophile? I'm disgusted by all of this....Law should be in prison. Let him deal with the people in there.....and get the punishment he deserves. I thank GOD I'm not a Catholic. My husband is raising his son Catholic and it makes me sick. I will be there in the Spring when he receives his Communion.....for him only. They better not ask for a donation....they won't be getting any money from me. My children won't raised Catholic.....over my dead body will my child be in a confessional with a priest.

JOC, Boston

It is apparant that Cardinal Law was at the forefront of protecting these abusive priests. Its time for Tom Reilly to see how we can prosecute him. Remember if your Catholic, that the Christmas collection goes to the Archdioces not your local church.I, for one am giving my normal Christmas donation to the St. Vincent DePaul poor box to help the poor locally

Mary , Boston

First off, Cardinal Law has not loss the authority of the archdiocese. However, the media would like the public to believe that. Catholics can still look at their priests in the general neighborhoods for leadership. I believe it is quite sad how the anti-catholic media blew this whole situation out of proportion. The bottom line is that the priest sex abusers totalled a lower percentage then what the average percentage of sex offender is in this country. Of course, we will not read about that because the media took every advanatage possible to blow this crisis wide open. As for the financial crisis, bankruptcy is the only solution due to the ridiculous payouts to the victims. However, what's done is done, and now the church must focus on the future. The future consists of two things: 1) better screening of priests (banning homosexual priests) and 2) address the problems (financially) with the church to the parishoners and let them know that extra donations will help to bring the church back on it's feet. The catholic church has been started by generous people, and will continue to run eternally thanks to generous people.

Miguel , Boston

So now Bernie wants to try to stop further revelations about his corrupt empire by declaring bankruptcy. Should anyone have expected anything different? There is no limit to the depths he will sink in his attempts to hide his past deeds and those of his beloved abusive employees, and we should all recognize that is exactly what they are...his employees. If any other corporation was found to have a deliberate corporate policy to harbour, protect and hide rapists and perverts among its employees as Bernie and his bunch have been doing, the directors and executive of that corporation would quickly find themselves in jail, which is exactly where Bernie and his bunch belong. There should be no way he escapes prosecution and a jail sentence. Perhaps in jail he may experience the horror of being raped by another man and finally understand the horrendous crimes that that he allowed to continue for years and years He obviously has no grasp of that concept right now.

Murray, Calgary, Canada

WARNING: This may be entertaining if not enlightening, hang in there through the commentary, there's hope at the end: First Point: Please stop beating a dead horse on the air and in the press, the GAP ads are bad enough. I cannot stomach yet another opportunity for Caterina Bandini in one more iteration of a bad TV-hair/kimono-combo tag-teaming with the Super-Fabulous, "Thanks for Asthking" Randy "Power Pinstripes" Price playing the part of reporters from a dramatic studio balcony after a 3 second stained-glass animation sequence that cries out with a Trash TV male voice-over: "SCAAAAAAAAN - DAL IN THE CHURCH." Point Two: This story "is what it is", everything else is salacious detail for newsies. The problem is that this story, like Celine Dion's heart, will go on, and on, and on, rectory detail, by rectory detail (THAT's gotta be healing for the victims). And, after a week's distraction with oily birds off the coast of Spain, it will come back and go on, and on, and on (with stories of crack, pot, beer and the No-Tell Motel that Father used to take me to)! Here's the bottom line, regurgitated daily courtesy of, Howie Carr, and the above-referenced sensationalist, pseudo-journalists (maybe they should write for Ready? Here's a Latin lesson, appropriate for this topic: NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLUM! Nothing New Under the Sun! The Church has been doing this for ages. Don't you think that uncovering the extent of this will be extensive and far-reaching? Get Used to It! It's like lifting a rock and finding lots of bugs scurrying. It'll be harder than re-organizing the FBI and the CIA, but as far as the breadth of policy and culture change, it's comparable. I can't stand another clip of Eric MacLeish's televised therapy sessions with his now curiously regular sidekick, Rodney Ford--also known by his role, "Parent of Victim". Doesn't he have a job? Or is he in this for the retirement pay-out? It's worse than a stubborn ORBITZ pop-under ad. Point three: A Constructive Challenge to put the "ACT" in Activists: My advice for Catholics who want to live a Catholic life, in spite of this mess: Leave your church, find another gathering place and start an American Catholic Church. Rome, and the rest of the world's Catholics and prelates don't care about our views and will be changing more slowly than even the hesitant American bishops are trying to. We have a distinct enough identity from the rest of the world, and rely on a more democratic way of approaching theology, that we should be compelled to live out our heart-felt convictions on Married Men and Women Priests, reality check on birth control, etc. Aren't we part of the current sham if we continue to be members of this community, publicly submitting to doctrine we privately disagree. Life is dangerous, get a helmet or start a new church.

Andy R., Boston

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