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?
Defrock and turn over to civil authorities. Forgive the sin, prosecute the sinner.
Byron Oliver, Houston
I believe its too late to gain back trust. How can they really? First, the church KNEW what was going on the whole time and did NOTHING to stop it. Second, if parents complained, the church SHUFFLED pedophiles around from parish to parish instead of dealing with the issues. Last, the only steps that should be taken to address the problem is for cardinal law to be convicted for an accessory to pedophiles after the fact!
The Catholic Church has proven that they are not capable of policing themselves and need the help of an outside party. I think the Church needs to bring in an "outside management" team that can properly detect and report the abundant number of crimes that have been going on for what appears to be an eternity. As for the rank and file Catholics, I think they need to demand to real answers to some tough questions. Would they still be dropping their donations into the collection baskets if they had had a child or grandchild that had been sexually abused by these predator's? Where exactly is their money going? Settlements, attorney fee's, court costs, public relations costs? The problem is not these sick priests, it's the institution as a whole. The actions (lack there of) of Cardinal Law and his "management team" are far more serious than the actions of these sick priests we seem to read about on a daily basis. I find it amazing that the general public has been calling for Law to resign, when it actuality he should have be both fired and arrested by now.
Doug , Boston
The catholics can do nothing. It has never mattered what the catholics want. I am 63 years old and not naive enough to believe that the hierarchy cares about what the catholics want. It saddens me to hear the younger catholics have their meetings and think they can make change. The only changes will be due to the fact what they have done is a criminal offense and they have been caught. The cardinal can say he is sorry. He's sorry because he was caught. Was he sorry for the very first abuse? It should have stopped at the first abuse. One was too many. All I hear about is the good and holy priests and how they are hurt and how they are looked at now. Well why don't they speak out about what has happened. It would help to hear the clergy and their outrage. I don't think they dare even if they are outraged. I think they are afraid of repercussions. I think the clergy needs to think of being a Christian and be outspoken about child abuse. Their not talking in the press or on T.V. Why? I have left the catholic church, I won't be a part of a church that has allowed such hideous crimes and cover it up. The accesories to these crimes should be prosecuted. I am so betrayed and I can't imagine how the victims feel. Their betrayal must be unbearable. People say to me "don't let this allow you to lose your faith" I haven't lost my faith. My faith is in Jesus Christ, not the catholic church.
I think all the clergy should convert to Islam. Then they claim that this small group of evil doers does not represent the group as a whole.
Anyone who has experienced a "spiritual awakening" knows that the catholic church stands for one thing...HYPOCRISY! The terrible things that have happened to these children are compounded immensely by the fact that the church will not take responsibility. Cardinal Law is doing great harm to the church by putting himself above the victims and not repenting and stepping down.
Born&Raised Catholic, Waltham
Forget resignation!!! Law and everyone in the heirarchy should be criminally prosecuted.
Mark, Nashua, NH
Law should step down. It's that simple. He has allowed this to happen. If you or I were in a position where we allowed children to be abused we would be sent to jail for a very long time. All Catholic's should boycott the Church until he does. Money talks!!
As for Boston, first off, Cardinal Law should immediately resign and be persecuted for gross negligence. His actions have been criminal. As for the Church itself ...
Shaun Rein, Cambridge
The church still doesn't believe there is a problem today - only a scandal from yesterday. They don't get it. Every parent in our parish is angry at this betrayal. The only answer is for parisheners to move on, because the church does not understand the feelings that come from being a parent and the instinct to protect our childred. People should stop leaving money in the plate every Sunday or simply leave the church. I think the situation is an example of how fundamentally corrupt and out of touch the Catholic Church is in America today.