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 needs to face the fact that celibacy does not work in the lives of priests today. They are not ascetics, living lives of denial and indulge themselves just as the rest of us do. It has obviously attracted a large group of men who cannot have normal relationships with adults. Rank-and-file Catholics can stop giving money to support the church and demand that the vow of celibacy be eliminated. Supporting the families of their clergy has surely got to be less expensive than these lawsuits. The church will never regain the trust of the faithful until they eliminate the cause the problem. They need to ask why Catholic priests, more than other clergy, are accused of crimes against children.
1. Law should resign. 2. New leadership in Rome 3. Let priests marry 4. Let women become priests
N Magner, Acton
I have met many ministers with wives, children and grandchildren who were good, faithful christians. We loose the "christian" part of our faith in the catholic church. Christ' church began with communities of loving, caring people who helped each other. Priests should live in regular houses even apartments and not be put above us "on a pedestal" so to speak as 'moral leaders'. Many common people have a fine sense of morality that improves with age and living. Mainly I think the people should run the church and priests should be allowed to marry and women can baptize and be leaders as they do in the other churches. The episcopal church, for one, has fine women priest who have babies and husbands while they are serving God. Women bring a balance to the world... God made men and women and I don't remember ever hearing that he made women in a lower state. The church has to evolve as mankind has evolved. The rules of 12 of 15 centuries ago just don't give all the answers for todays world. t
Claire Lombardi, Hopkinton
Anyone involved with the decisions to allow priests with confirmed abuse allegations to continue to preach must go!
Bob Creech, Hull
Given that the Vatican views this as an "American" problem fanned by a sex-obsessed media and culture and will not provide any support, we American Catholics must aggressively take back our Church: -we must take over the administration of individual parishes, with the right to hire (and fire) those who serve as clergy. This is not revolutionary: other religious groups have had the same administrative rights for years. -we must demand openness of parish and diocesan financial records, with a requirement that an independent audit be performed and disclosed publicly once a year. This is what is required of publicly-traded businesses, and as parishioners who contribute money to support the various business activites of the parish and diocese, we have the right to know how our money is being spent. -we must demand accountability from those who serve the Church at higher levels; those who betray our trust, those who are incompetent or who cannot lead must be removed by those they serve. The problem for the Church is not sex, it's willful secrecy, fueled by the condescending attitude that we, the congregants, aren't in a "need to know" position. The Church is not the diocese, or the cardinal, or the Vatican. The Church is US, its congregants, and we must make sure that is not forgotten.
I do believe that Cardinal Law should step down in light of recent developments in this scandal / coverup. What we're seeing is a total disregard of leadership as well as for the victims. Cardinal Law has allowed the abuse for years. Countless victims are reminded daily of the abuse as Law continuously swept it under the rug and looked the other way. Reform is needed. Without Cardinal Law resigning, the healing process can't possibly proceed.
Christopher M, Dorchester
My father is a devoted church goer and is very generous donating to his church. It is painful to think that monies collected by the church is going to defend child molestation. Mr. Law, STEP DOWN! It is the right thing to do.
The church has no future...it's finished.
All the higher officals who are involved with the cover up etc should resign,including the ones who appt. the Bishops They have not done their job
Peter D Lynch, Eliot,Me 03903
I am still a Catholic on a personal level and would still go to church with my family, but no longer plan on sending my son to CCD and to anything Catholic that we do not do as a whole family. I think everyone should demand Cardinal Law resign..that is certain!