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 must purge itself of all pedefiles from the top down to the bottom. I think that all those involved directly or withholding information must resign immediately.
Tom W., Saugus
Church officials can start by forcing Cardinal Law to resign. There is no other way to get things going in the right direction and it has to start there. Cardinal Law's steadfast refusal to resign is mind-boggling. For the time being, I am no longer attending mass. Trust is the key to any relationship and that trust has been broken. In all honesty, I am embarrassed to be a Catholic.
John Koenig, Millbury, MA.
From my own experience The church lied to me about the allowable compensation, That I know for a fact. No apology was ever offered me. I feel that if this involved any institution other than the church that criminal charges would have long ago been brought against the parties involved. Criminal Facilitation , Obstruction of Justice and RICO Statute charges come to mind. If the Church wishes to do something at this point, resignation of persons like Cardinal law is not enough. They should in my opinion be EXCOMMUNICATED , their pensions frozen and distributed to the victims.
A Geoghan Victim, Boston
Seems ironic that Amareault is in prison all these years and can not be pardoned and you have this fiasco going on. Where's the justice.
The church should remove the guilty priests from their duties permanently. The legal system should put these priests on trial and deal with them accordingly. The Catholic religion should allow priests to have sexual relations with members of the opposite sex and marry if they so chose. If they continue to mandate abstinence the sexual abuse will continue. I am not condoning the priests behavior, but they have so much built up sexual tension. They should be able to have legal sex and marry if they chose.
I think the only thing the faithful can do right now is keep supporting their own parish. I personally will not nor have I ever supported Cardinal Law. I believe he is arrogant and self-serving and if he has any compassion for all the innocent victims, he should resign immediately. I don't think the Church will recover completely unless there is a person with integrity leading the way.
noreen tilley, weymouth
The Catholic church has moved away from teaching true christianity . It needs to humble itself, ask for forgiveness, and rebuild by returning to what the bible says, not the Cardinal or the Pope. Also, everyone involved in this scandal needs to step down, admitt their sin, ask for forgiveness and take their punishment. The Catholic church needs to help in the healing of their victims. Offer counseling or whatever else is necessary for forgiveness to take place. Lets not forget what God teaches us - we learn the most through our hardships and if we turn to him - our reward will be great. God does not ask priest to give up sex. That is the catholic church acting superior to man. He made woman to be man's partner. The Catholic church needs to realize they are not producing mini Gods but people who are trying to teach the word of God and behave to the best of their ability like Jesus would!
M, North Shore
Not being a Catholic, I never understood why ministers and Rabbis could marry but not Priests. Ministers and Rabbis are able to devote their lives to God and marriage; why can't Priests? Why so much secrecy in the Catholic Church? and why so homophobic? The culture of the priesthood has sheltered too much evil for too long. It is time to allow Priests to live as the humans that they are!!
I think that the harm done is not repairable. I personally will never walk into another Catholic church. They have shown themselves to be hypocrites and an affront to every human being on earth. Those poor children were taught by their parents to trust in the church for guidance and their lives were destroyed. Cardinal Law, hopefully, will live with this shame for the rest of his days.
As a former Catholic, I keep asking myself the same thing; How can anyone continue to support the Catholic Church? They have proven to be an organization that makes the Executive team of Enron look like a bunch of choir boys! They have destroyed more individuals and families than we will ever know about, they have protected criminals for years and they have a leader in Law that refuses to see the error of his criminal ways. By supporting the church, Catholics are saying "we forgive you", when in actuality they are not the people entitled to forgive these animals. Let's leave the forgiveness up to the victims of these crimes. What amazes me is that the Church and it's member's haven't removed (physically) Law and still continue to turn out to pray on each and every Sunday. It's a complete joke, not funny, but instead very, very sad. What do these "Church going" people say to their children when asked what's going on with the church ? I have never seen this amount of undeserving forgiveness being shown for a bunch of criminals. If these men were accountants, barbers, dentists or construction workers, all of the Catholic would be calling for their heads! The Catholic Church is without doubt the largest collection of hypercrits around. The heck with the 10 commandments, how about just one: stay away from the children and those who don't will be shown no mercy!