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?
The church should ask for the resignation of Cardinal Law on behalf of the victims. Priests, before ordination should go through a background check, nuns should assist priests in everyday activity. The church should make awareness to children of whats right and wrong when working with priests and lastly, the Catholic church needs to work exremely hard on letting people know that from here on in, they will not tolerate any kind of abuse and will take extreme measures in punishment of such abuse and vow to make every effort to make our children safe.
These are the men that sit behind a screen and call others sinners. I don't have any idea how trust can be regained. It's hard not to wonder every time I see a priest go by. I feel so sorry for those innocents who carry this burden too, but I still wonder. Allowing priests to marry doesn't change the fact that most of these abusers are homosexual. Marrying may help appeal to priesthood by heterosexual men but I don't know what other changes can take place.
cardinal law should resign immediately and admit he was wrong and make a public apology. that is the problem: there are many sexual predators in every walk of life. if the catholic church does not take a stand, and help all victims who have had their trust broken, by rooting out all predators within the church, then the catholic church as a whole cannot be trusted. all victims should be compensated. cardinal law must resign.
julia , manchester nh
Is the Catholic Church of Boston more powerful than The Constitution of The United States Of America there? I think cardinal Law should be treated as any other man would be treated were he not a memeber of the church higherarchy. He should be charged with aiding and abeting child abuse. If a jury finds him innocent that should end all discussion. If he is found guilty he should be stripped of his priesthood and confined to prision.
Jim, Federalsburg MD
As a Catholic, we are duty bound to pursue and punish these offenders. It may break our hearts but it has to be done.
I THINK THAT THERE IS LITTLE THAT CAN BE DONE. THESE PEOPLE ARE SICK AND IT IS THE RESPONIBILITY OF THE ADULTS TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN. HOW SAD AS IS IT FOR PARENTS THAT WE CAN NOT TRUST THE FEW PEOPLE THAT WERE LEFT IN LIFE THAT WE WERE BROUGHT UP TO. I DONT FEEL THAT ANYONE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS EVEN TRIED TO APPOLIGIZE TO THIS CHILDREN AND THERE PARENTS FOR WHAT THEY HAVE TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM (INNOCENCE AND TRUST). I THINK THAT LIKE ANY BUSINESS THEY NEED TO START FROM THE TOP AND LOOK AT ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. THEN SEND THE PEDIFILES ALL AWAY TOGETHER SO THAT THEY CAN LIVE WITH PEOPLE LIKE THEMSELVES AND REMOVE THEM COMPLETELY FROM CIVILIZATION. AND, FROM THIS POINT FORWARD THERE WILL NEVER BE A PRIEST ALONE WITH A PERSON AGAIN..FOR WHATEVER REASON...I BELIEVE THAT TRUST AS WE KNOW IT HOWEVER IS GONE FOREVER!
JENNIFER, LANCASTER MA
Any time that trust is broken, it takes time to heal and rebuild. The Church must take action. People who commit these offenses must suffer the consequences and the Church must face up to their wrong doings. I do believe there are many more good priests than there are bad. Catholics have a strong faith and we will get throught this terrible time.
The answer to this nightmare is simple: Rid the priesthood of every single homosexual and pedophile, active or unactive. I expect my priest to follow the Church's teachings, as I am expected to do. I don't care if there are only two priests left standing, as long as they are faithful to our religion, pure and honorable. And, of course, there is no question, Law should resign now.
Mary Cee, Needham
I think the church is in deep, serious trouble and that's a good thing. As Andrew Sullivan puts it "But what Ireland shows - and what the rapid spread of fundamentalist Protestantism in Latin America shows - is that even traditional cultures can suddenly abandon unthinking and unswerving obedience to a clerisy widely perceived as corrupt or psychologically warped." I think if the church deals with this properly - which they haven't done so far with Law's lie & deny legal & PR tactics - and clean house AND change their rules on priests AND stop insisting on outdated rules on homosexuality, contraception, etc which are church policy and not biblical mandates, then over time some people's desire to believe may overcome their disgust. The church has to become more like Buddhism, without such corrupt institional structures, with more focus on advice for spiritual living and less on areas like birth control, which the church has no business being in. If the church doesn't make big, serious changes it deserves to fall away. In the meantime, Law's statements over the past few years proven what a lying hypocrite he is - I hope the church never counsels another person on sin again, because there are few sins bigger than the ones Law and his priests have committed.
T Gagnon, Lynn
I find it apalling that priests are putting guilt on churchgoers about donating to the church. One church member told me that the priest in her church said he was "disappointed in Catholics who stood by and watched as the church hemoraged." To me this means that they are trying to collect money for law suits, and are using thier guilt tactic on Catholics to mend something that is clearly a defect in the church leaders and not the members.