January 25, 2004
January 4, 2004
Your thoughts on the priest sexual abuse scandal
The priest sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has been unfolding for 3 months now, not just locally, but also nationally and overseas. We'd like to hear your thoughts on what steps the church should take to address the problem. What can rank-and-file Catholics do? How can church officials regain the trust of the faithful?
I do believe that harboring criminals is a felony. Is a drug dealer still a criminal when he doesn't sell directly to your son or daughter?.......YES Would a school superintentent be held accountable if he/she kept relocating teachers with known sexual abuse patterns?......YES Why, are religous leaders "above " the Law......THEY ARE NOT They are "feeding" the habits of known sex offenders!
The first step to any meaningful change is new leadership. There is no doubt now that Law must resign.
Pete Lambie, Windham,NH
I think all the priests that have committed these horrific crimes should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law regardless of statute of limitations. These men have broken the law and violated and destroyed the lives of countless children. That, no matter how you try to rationalize it, is a crime under the law. Period!
Rev. Mr. Jeffrey Evers, Charlotte, North Carolina
I don't think any special preference should be given to them. Treat as any other man. MAKE THEM USE THEIR PERSONAL FINANCES TO GET OUT OF THIS MESS. NOT TO PUT THEIR ESTATE IN TRUST. BE INTERESTING TO KNOW '''''''''HOW MUCH MONEY EACH ONE HAS,
mrs. B, Revere
Our society is currently seeing the Catholic Church hierarchy and the criminals they supported at their worse. People of all faiths are sickened and saddened over the incidents of abuse that have takened place over the years. Speaking as a Catholic who has dicussed these issues with many others of our faith, we are reeling with pain over what appears to be the conspiracy of actions and policies of our Church leaders. We are currently watching the adverserial Catholic bashers siezing their new opportunity to do some additional dirty work. We see these gloating bigots wallow in the swill of these horrific events as they unfold. We have always seen them at their worse, they will always be there. I know where the rocks are that they slither out from under. The world is about to witness the true faithful Catholics at our finest moment. We as Catholics are about to see who are real brothers and sisters in faith really are. We are constantly in mortal combat with evil. This is the way it always has been. The battle will continue! This is our testimony. Our trust in some of our Church leaders is shaken...Our faith is quietly fervent and unyielding. Personally it furthers my resolve as a Catholic to defend my faith. The flame of faith and love remains burning brightly shedding light to reveal the truth so there can be justice. I pray for the victims, I pray for the perpetrators, I pray for our detractors, I pray for the accused priests that may be innocent, I pray for our Holy Father John Paul II, I pray for Cardinal Law and the rest of our leaders, I pray for all our many good priests and I pray for us. Join me, we will all be a better human beings for it. We are the Catholic Church!
Philip B. Divver, Millis, MA
There can never be any "Mystery" about what to do- When vows are broken and/or laws are broken, excommunication then reporting to the civil authorities as provided in Canon Law.Some will say Draconian, but it is not unlike the respected Universal Code of Military Justice governing the Armed forces of the United States. Meanwhile the American Catholic Episcopate stands in dis-repute and many of its bishops must resign. Their policy of silence and secrecy not only fostered crime but placed them in collusion as accesories both before and after the fact, shared as well with the Vatican.
William L. Nowick, Plymouth, Mass.
The church should come to terms with issues related to human sexuality and put an end to the requirement of celibacy. Also should be more honest about their problems. Neither seems likely to happen, though.
Pieter Hoeststra, Cambridge
Crimminal charges should be brought against the church heirarchy.
Bob Ivano, Newton
Cardinal Law must leave...He is not a leader,he is a criminal....He has been involved in felonious activity for years.Take away the power that he loves so much.Lets sign petitions,have gatherings Think about removing ourselves from Rome..Start treating women like 1st rather than2nd class citizens.Let them become Priest and for heavens sake let Priests marry.I woud be willing to bet that the vocation level would rise..Hold donations for now
I am completely unqualified as a non-religious person, but suggest that religion has nothing to do with this issue. The Catholic Church is an organization just like any other and is entitled to no special protections or considerations, particularly when it comes to crimes of this magnitude. This is a case of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and a collection of some of the worst crimes that could be committed on the innocent and calls for rapid and solid investigation. A complete purge of this sickness is in order. Cardinal Law, holding an ironically inappropriate name, has been shown to be the leader of this conspiracy and deserves more than a mere release from his cushy job. His inaction and cover-up suggest to me that he, too, is likely involved. Many churches, particulary those with "fundamentalist" leanings, have a longstanding reputation for similar behaviour and deserve the same scrutiny. Our society should strongly condemn these crimes, particularly as they occurred behind the shrowd and silence of religion, which is supposed to raise the human spirit, not denegrate it.
Mark Richards, Littleton, MA