January 25, 2004
January 4, 2004
Your thoughts on Cardinal Law and the abuse scandal
Some have suggested that Cardinal Bernard Law should resign for his failure to remove former priest John Geoghan from contact with children years ago, when Law first learned of allegations that Geoghan was abusing boys. The cardinal has apologized for his inaction, but said he will not resign. We asked Boston.com users if they are satisfied with what Cardinal Law has said and done in the matter thus far, and if he should resign.
I am a practicing Catholic and believe that Cardinal Law should resign and be defrocked. He failed his congregation and failed to protect the most vulnerable members. This is an outrage.
I believe that Cardinal Law and his predecessors behaved in a truly Catholic way. It is such a sad situation, for so many children suffered, yet Law was thoughtful and hopeful in support of his staff, as well as regretful to the plight of the children in the Archdiocese. His decisions were not the right ones, yet his compassion is evident in the communications published. Truly Law led with love and Christian hope and forgiveness. That Geoghan was depraved and unable to rectify his evil behavior victimized Law as well. Law is now seen as one who protected a known pedophile. This is one way to look at it, but I see he was a victim as well. His words publicly of late are sincere and his actions of late are proof that he knows his choices were wrong and that he indeed wishes healing and love of Christ to all parties involved. The Catholic church also suffers greatly. Geoghan is not the only Catholic priest to have molested children. The church has difficulty drawing people into the ministry as priests. A disaster has happened to the church and now Law has to right the ship. It is an unenviable task to accept blame and still try to do the right thing. I do not believe he should resign. It is his responsibility to see this through to the end. A religious song says "He that shall endure to the end, shall be saved.."
Law is lucky that it's just his resignation that's being demanded, rather than criminal charges. Of course, that will never happen in Boston, but that's another story.
Law (and his predecessors') willful stupidity, his/their indifference to all those abused kids and families, and his/their perpetuating a situation where more kids would inevitably be abused -- time after time after terrible time -- if that isn't criminal it should be. At the very least, it is a monumental disgrace and blow to the church and community of believers.
If a group as shamelessly self serving as the Enron board is smart enough to pull Ken Lay out of the top spot, surely the church hierarchy could show as much class and intelligence. The Vatican should yank Law out and bring in a new man who isn't so compromised and, well, guilty.
I think Cardinal Law should be prosecuted for practically condoning the rape of children. Suppose the same situation occurred in a day care center and the director simply moved the pedophile to a different town - that person would be brought up on criminal charges. Secondly, he is obviously more concerned about his reputation and the reputation of the church than he is about the people. I think that he has lost sight of what is important and is more worried about his own agenda than the basic tenets of the Church.
Cardinal Law is a disgrace to the church. He should show the courage and integrity called for in this crisis by stepping down. Given all the troubles the Catholic church has experienced over the past few years, one would think (hope?) that he would have done so by now.
I think what he did was unforgiveable!
Resign, resign, resign. Cardinal Law should pick up what's left of his pride and leave. The fact that he knew from the very beginning what was going on during Geoghan's "after school activites", and stil allow it to continue is just like him saying that it's okay. And it's not. All there boys are left with a scar that carries with them everyday of their lives because of someone who could of stopped Geoghan didn't. Until years of abuse until he realizes "Oh hey,... I guess that was wrong." And ends it ever so gracefully with, "Sorry 'bout that." Is that supposed to make everything better? Sure, maybe in his mind. How he can even have a position still, is a wonder to me.
Cardinal Law's behavior is inexcusable and borders on the criminal.He and the church has known for decades that pedophilia is incurable and yet their only concern was to avoid scandal. This is not just a mistake, as the Cardinal stated. It is a willful, premeditated criminal act He is an accessory before the fact and deserves punishment with the full force of the law.
Mr. Law may have just as well committed the crimes himself. For years the Archdiocese has known about these problems and has chosen to keep it in the family. Yet they continually ask us for more money to help out the troubled church. Shame on them.
I in my heart of hearts believe that Cardinal Law should step down and that the true damage of his actions lie not only in the abuse he allowed to be continued on innocent children, but also on the countless number of good church-going Catholics whose trust he forever destroyed. Many people will never think of the church the same way again, and this is a true loss to the Church.
Cardinal Law is an accessory to child rape and abuse. His sole deserves the same weight and judgment of any priest he let have his way with young boys. He is a hypocrite and vile person who should be held accountable for his actions instead of hiding behind his Cardinal's robe. Thank You