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?
As a product of greater Boston parochial schools I am saddened but not surprised by these revelations rumored even in the '50's to streetwise teen catholics. Anyone who thinks that the church is a democracy (despite the Vatican council) is sadly mistaken. As Law points out, it is a community closed to "outside" thought. Any contrary opinions must be driven by anti-catholic sentiment (like the 1890's). Not only should Law go, but the conservative Roman leadership as well, or face US schism.
Jim Ebrecht, Norcross, GA
Cardinal Law should take a page from the Catholic teaching's & immediatley admit that he should have recognized & acted upon the problem 25 years ago when these matters first became clear to him. At this point in time Cardinal Law should step down & admit his mistakes. The Catholic Church continues to become a caricature of all they teach & preach as long as Cardinal Law continues to hold power, or even any role whatsoever in the Church. The Catholic Church should appoint a new stronger Cardinal with some refreshing new views & attitudes of how the church can & should move forward. Persons of Catholic faith should continue to support their faith & not leave the church based on the actions of a few extremely sick individuals who were hiding behind their faith.
Dan T., boston
As a devout Catholic who has a great deal of faith, I can honestly say that I am sickened by the leaders of the Catholic Church. So many people are pointing at Cardinal Law. But he is only a small part of the problem. In my opinion, everyone from the Bishop level and all the way up the ranks to the Vatican are just as responsible. They all need to go! It's obvious that the Vatican doesn't regard the abuse of children as being worse than the priests getting caught. They blame American culture and the media rather than a celibate culture that has harbored sexual deviants for decades, and probable centuries. We members of the Catholic church ought to take matters into our own hands. DO NOT contribute to collections. Once our financial support has stopped they may actually begin to listen to us. It's time for a complete reform and if Rome isn't going to listen then maybe it's time for the American Catholic Church to become an entity of it's own with it's own rules. Let's get rid of celibacy and let's have women become priests as well. The time has come.
notmartha2, Marlboro, MA
Law should resign,he should be responsible to state and county laws covering his actions,get rid of all priests who have problems-sex, booze,drugs and the most important mental illness.They don't know what they are saying on the altar
I would propose an online petition that could be signed by those of us who believe that Cardinal Law and his band of child molesters should: a. be de-frocked b. go to trial - and held in JAIL until they go to trial. These men are truly evil. The petition should be sent to: 1. the Pope 2. Ted Kennedy 3. Attn. General thank you.
pamela esty, southborough, ma
Personally, I am so angered at Law for his criminal negligence. He needs to step down. To make matters worse, he is not hearing the overwhelming plea for him to step down. The problem is that the church refused and neglected to address the sexual abuse issues in the past. My parent's generation thought that a priest was this high and mighty superhuman ordained by God. However, they are human just like all of us and are subjected to God's law and the law of justice. I hope that justice is done.
Christine Gran, Cambridge
Law is a criminal using the church as a shield for his crimes. He should be thrown out and put in jail.
I am a catholic, and these things that are now being exposed in the media are not new as we are all beginning to now understand. First Cardinal Law should step down, has compromised his position of trust and can no longer lead effectively, he should in fact face what you and I would face given similar circumstances, imprisonment. These things happen because of blind faith, trust of an individual simply because he is a priest is crazy these people are just men who bleed as we do. They are not and should not be held higher than any other just because they chose the path they have. Would you leave your child unattended with a mechanic while he worked on your car... I think not. I am a father of two and I would never trust my children to the care and or guidance of a priest or nun for more than the obvious reasons, It is my job to provide their care and guidance not a stranger. Today people should be aware that sickness has many forms and only you can protect your children from them. Face facts the Catholic Church is a big business and it always has been, it is a means of controlling vast amounts of people into thinking alike. I believe you should live your life as honestly as you can, love your family, help those around you and you will in the end be saved. I do not need to go to godís house to feel close to him and neither should you, if your heart is in the right place you can reach god from anywhere. The only way to make changes is to hit them where it hurts the most, in the wallet. Stop going to church and stop filling the baskets during collection and then maybe things will change. Stop buying the product until it has been improved. This type of thing has gone on for hundreds of years and will continue to go on as long as people allow others to think for themselves, there is no place in this world for blind faith and or trust. Believe in your children, listen to what they have to say and protect them from harm in all of its many forms. We all have the ability to teach our children what is right and what is wrong. Do not leave this up to strangers, lead by example and have faith in your family, you never know you just might find the peace you are looking for right under your nose. Personally I will not go back to church until Cardinal Law has been prosecuted for the crimes he has committed against the children he was trusted to protect. He should be held to the same standard you and I would be held to, after all he does bleed as I do.
Frank M, Weymouth
The Church must focus on its people, not its officials or heirarchy. A separate mechanism of external mandated reporting must be instituted to ensure that these abuse are halted and prevented. I am not Catholic, but I would suggest that all members withhold donations until these reforms are instituted. Massive outreach and education must be planned to identify and treat the victims, to also assist in preventing further abuse. I see little that any church official can do to regain the trust that was so visciously and repeatedly violated.
Peter Freeman, Georgetown, MA
They should take Cardinal Law outside string him up, rape his sorry ass, and then kill him, he is a miserable human being who has no regard for anyone except himself. When people realize Religion Hurts more people than it helps, this will not happen. Cardinal Law is just a man, a sorry no good vile, man. Death to Cardinal Law and the Church!
brian lawson, newton