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.
Growing up Catholic we were always tought to hold the clergy in highest respect because they were God's representatives on earth. What respect Cardinal Law had in my eyes has long since vanished because of his lack of action when he became aware of the allegations being made about one of his priests. Common sense dictated that this priest be removed from the vicinity of children and this was not done. Father Geoghan got away with destroying too many young lives while Cardinal Law preached about tolerance and forgiveness to his flock. In my opinion forgiveness can only be given after the sinner has repented!!! Has Father Geoghan ever publically repented his actions??? Let Cardinal Law realize that many of his flock have had it with his sanctimonious talk!! He no longer commands the respect of all the Catholics in the Archdiocese and many of us think that he should resign. Let someone else come in and straighten up the mess!!
In my mind this is the saddest day for the New England Catholic Church. Cardinal Law should be held on trial along with the actual molester. He actually enabled this man to continue his path of destruction.
At least he should be removed.
The best outcome would be for Cardinal Law to resign and appeal to the Vatican to finally end the requirements of celibacy and men-only for the priesthood. These two factors severely limit the numbers of candidates available for the priesthood and thus invite corner cutting and coverups simply to retain minimum numbers of celibate male priests.
Cardinal Law has indeed acted in a responsible manner in dealing with this matter, and above all, should NOT resign. Since this news broke, the Globe has continued to put the Cardinal in the worst possible light and by inference, has tainted the reputation of the thousand or so Priests in the Archdiocese who work hard at healing and helping their parisioners and all who need their help. People should be incensed and concerned over the actions of Geoghan, and the unwitting action of the Archbishop in reassigning him, but give the Cardinal the benefit of the doubt. He did his job and continues to do his job to the best of his ability. Remember what they did to the last man who was perfect...They crucified him. Cardinal Law, who is as imperfect as all of us, does not deserve the same fate for a judgement based on doctors' reports, whether flawed or not!
I and a substantial portion of the membership of the Congegrational Church my family attends are ex-Catholic. If Cardinal Law would like to know why there are so many ex-Catholics, he need only examine his behavior with respect to Father Geoghan.
His utter lack of true concern for the welfare of the children of his diocese, and his evident belief that the church hierarchy is accountable to no one outside its own ranks is all too typical of the attitude and behavior of the priests, nuns, and bishops I knew in my youth. It is hard to say which angers me more--Geoghan's pedophilia or Law's arrogance.
There will be resignations as a result of the shocking and disgusting behavior of both Goeghan and Law. If Law does not resign (as any honorable man would), there will be that many more Catholics who resign from the church and join me and my fellow ex-Catholics in Protestantism.
I am both horrified and saddened that the church sacrificed it's children to protect someone (Geoghan) who is nothing more than a career criminal. Does Cardinal Law have any idea of the staggering amount of pain and suffering that has resulted from his inaction? He should resign immediately.
Cardinal Law is a shepherd who protected a fellow shepherd while abandoning his flock. He does not deserve his elevated status as a Cardinal of the Church. I feel most strongly that he should lose his Cardinalship. Maybe he could spend the rest of his life comforting the children of sexual abuse.
One Word: RESIGN
Resign? Not enough. How about jail? Bernard Law supplied the getaway car that Geoghan used to move from parish to parish to prey on young people. It is shocking to me that Law is not being held more accountable for his lack of action. I believe that resigning should be a starting point for Law. Then, I feel he should be dealt with by a grand jury to face possible criminal misconduct. The head of a beleaguered organization (see Enron) will often face criminal charges of some sort for gross mismanagement and neglect. Law is the local head of an organization that has betrayed the trust of many and violated the innocence of more than a few. Law has shown tremendous compassion for the unborn. What about the living?
I am a 59 year old Catholic. We are very much concerned with what happens in the church.
It causes myself and my entire family both sorrow and pain, but most all,we are embarrassed for our church, in which we care deeply about.
Besides the unfortunate victims that have suffered unspeakable horrors, I also feel so very bad ,for the vast majority of the good and holy priests. We all look at theme in a different manner, and I am quite sure that they are aware of it.
As part of this church I feel that we must speak out against this irresponsibility of the powers to be, so I say that the Cardinal,and others who allowed these things to happen, must resign, and do it right away.
I thank the Globe for bringing this to the light of day.