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?
My thought as to what the Catholic Church should do about the sex scandal. First and foremost, protect the children. In order to do that, the priest should be held responsible for his actions. He should be removed from the priesthood and prosecuted by the law. Why should a priest hide behind the Church. A citizen would be sent to jail and then would have to sign as a sex offender. Also, the Bishops and Cardinals should also be held responsible for overlooking their responsibility and not protecting the children.
Marguerite Paradis, Lewiston, Maine
Our Pope has called this widespread child abuse in our Church a "mysterious evil". The fact that child abuse exists is a mystery, but the fact that it has permeated our Clergy is quite obvious. Statisticly, well educated men dedicated to God's work should abuse children far far less then men in the general population. Howevever child abuse is of epedemic proportions by Priests within our Church. Child abuse by our Priests occurs despite constant prayer for help by parishoners, Clergy and many of the sick Priests themselves. Please wake up Holy Father. The requirement of unmarried Priests is a structure made by man and clearly not ordained by God. I implore all Catholics to copy the previous paragraph and include any additional thoughts and send the message directly to our Pope.
Charlie O'Sullivan, Orlando formerly of Framingham
They just DONT GET IT! The harm to the victims is horrendous-Soul death someone called it. Victims need healing! The church needs NEW leaders who care about victims not the image.
Twyla Bednardski, Hingham
The Church should provide evidence for criminal prosecution of the guilty priests and all superiors that had any knowledge of their activities. Serious monetary restoration should be paid to the victims even if it means liquifying church assets. The Pope should publicly acknowledge the damage his representatives have inflicted on innocent souls. He should beg Catholics worldwide for forgiveness and to prove the depth of his contrition he should abolish Catholic church.
Maureen Cowie, West Boylston
Clean house.... New cardinal, new bishops, clear public statements on zero tolerance regarding sexual misconduct and a public apology to the abused and to society for a shameful and cowardly coverup. If no action by the Church, arrest and charge Cardinal Law with obstruction of justice (Atty. General has a case). As regards the clergy, allow priests to marry, ordain women and further involve the congregation in administering the local churches. Oversight by the laity will keep sexual abuse in check. Do it now...
1: Let priests get married 2: Let women become priests 3: Educate priests like a social worker, teacher or anyone else that deals with children 4: Check their backgrounds before they become 'in charge' of children
Catholic, North Andover
The church is unable to regain this trust.
Bill O'Brien, Somerville
I was raised Catholic. As the years have gone by I have found myself to be drifting further away from the church. My opinions and views differ greatly than what is taught within the Catholic structure. I have followed this story and find that gap between myself and the church widening rapidly. The article that I read yesterday regarding the recently released documents in the Shanley case was beyond heinous and left me in tears. I am utterly and totally disgusted. As a parent I can only imagine the horror and betrayal that these victims and their parents and families feel. The Boston Archdiocese chose their reputation over the safety of children. They then tried to address these crimes internally in order to further 'protect' these monsters and pedophiles. When did they ever think of these poor children? When did the children become an entity not important enough to 'protect'? How could they make such a decision? There is no excuse, there is no argument, there is no reason which makes any of this comprehensible. It seems so beyond repair at this point, what can church officials possibly say that will not make my stomach churn each time I see the face of another victim, or the look of anguish on their parents face? The Boston Archdiocese does not deserve my trust.
The Catholic Church in America failed to heed the clear direction from Rome, and listened to the psycobabble that it was OK to accept candidates into her seminaries with homosexual inclinations or committed to homosexual activity. The only way back to regain the trust and respect that the Church founded by Christ once commanded is for her to return to basics, follow its own teachings and suspend all priests known to have homosexual inclinations and to never again accept candidates with homosexual inclinations. The Church then will need to advocate holiness in all aspects, especially in the moral arena; be vocally pro-life, denouncing politicians who robe themselves under Catholic titles while all along declaring themselves pro-choice. The Church will need to oppose in all fronts the homosexual agenda and be uncompromising against any erosions in her moral positions. Any compromises or silences will be later regretted as we now regret her tolerance and later secrecy with the homosexual abuse of minors.
Thank you for your coverage of the Clerical abuse in Boston. It has oeed the doors of parishes all over the country. Here is the St. Petersburg diocese we have this problem, a bishop who refuses to hand over any internal reports of clerical abuse allegations. I lovemy church, I am the church and I tink thatwe shold o back to doing what thechurch has built itself on - service to others. As for Cardinal Law - bring all the charges that the DA can muster. And if we have to sell the Piata and the last golden candlestick to help the victims we should and would be willing to do so. This would go a great distance in regainoing the trust of active cathloics such as I and perhaps bring back others to the church. Lay people have a great deal of talent to offer th church and it is wildly over looked. We need to bring all who want to serve and love the church to make it stronger. Thank you for helping those who the church has tune their baks on and savg others from this abuse. I am also a Guardian Ad Litem who kows first hand the devistation that abuse hase on children. God Bless You
Jean M. Walder, Oldsmar, FLorida