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?
What a JOKE! If Cardinal Law or any of the others in hierarchy of the church were in the private sector (or government) and something similar to this had occurred, not only would they be fired, but they would be facing criminal charges. Yet the Church is preaching "forgiveness" when that SAME Church is responsible for one of the most horrible crimes one can commit -- and that these were perpetrated against children makes it all the more reprehensible. Would any mother or father among us TRULY be able to forgive anyone who did such unspeakable acts to one of our children? I don't think so. And for the Church and Cardinal Law to have aided and abetted these pedophiles by covering up their crimes/transferring them in and out of districts -- all the while doing NOTHING to prevent them from preying on more innocents is an utter and total disgrace. Shame on YOU Cardinal Law and SHAME on the Catholic Church for not having the temerity, the wisdom and THE HONOR to accept you role in these aggregious crimes. These are CRIMES and anyone involved should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
The catholic church is an important part of my life and will remain so, however, I am disgusted and upset by the total lack of respect the church leaders have demonstrated. I DEMAND cardinal Law's resignation. Until this week I had given him the benefit of the doubt. Now forget it, he should be criminally prosecuted just like Geoghan. The chuch needs to weed out every single priest, high level and low level, that has done anything to allow sexual abuse among children not only to be tollerated but sounds to me like encouraged. I am really upset with Law and his cronies and have lost a lot of respect for the church hierarchy
Peter , Westerly RI
The Catholic church has always practiced a docrtine of "we will tell you what to do, what to think, and who to listen to," and in the middle ages, when most people could not read the Bible for themselves, there were fairly simple reasons for that. We no longer live in the middle ages, however. We live in the 21st century, where we value democracy, where we believe everyone has a vote and a voice. Unfortunately, the Catholic church has not left the 15th century. The Catholic Church needs to understand that a good hierarchy comes from below, not from above. I'm not saying that the hierarchy should be dismantled, I'm saying that parishioners should have a say in who they worship with and what they worship. Americans have been calling for women priests for decades... Italy and France are the two most Catholic countries in the world and they have the highest abortion rate in the world... most people find nothing wrong with using birth control. There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter Catholic, despite the fact that the entire foundation for the church is that everyone be cookie-cutter Catholics. More regional autonomy is probably the only thing that will see the Catholic Church into the 22nd century. The ability to chose a parish's own priest, or even to chose a parish. A priest who is able to meet the actual needs of his (or her) parish, instead of what Rome thinks the needs of the parish are. Oh yes, and for the record... Law should have resigned three months ago and he should certainly do it now.
The whole thing is sickening. First for the church to fight so vigorously against releasing documents is an abomination. Truth should not be feared, it should be welcomed. Only then can the healing take place. Second it's obvious Law doesn't get it. To think of children as collateral damage to save the reputation of the church is reprehensible. We are all students of Catholicism. We know that immoral acts know no bounds. Let's air out *ALL* the dirty laundry once and for all. It's obviously Law doesn't have the spiritual fortitude to do this. Also, Law should be well aware that to grant forgiveness someone has to be remorseful for their actions. It's obvious that Shanley and others have not a care in the world about their actions. It's ashame the pedophiles get the ears of the Cardinal and not parishoners who time and time again warned him of pedophile priests. How can we trust this leadership???? It's also disheartening that priests who get married or Catholics who divorce get worse treatment than these priests!! Time for new leadership!!
Dear Globe, I will make a leap of faith that married couples would like to hear the message from someone who has experienced the financial, emotional, and spriritual ups and downs of raising children, while also being a dedicated spouse. Why are monetary settlements out of court the solution for the Church? It would be far more impressive if the Cardinal would just step down today as a sign of sincere remorse for his sins as a leader in the Church. Don't give him another cushy job at the Vatican, because then he will not truly understand what he has done wrong. God Bless!
K. E. Doherty, Bradford, MA
In response to the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal now making daily headlines across the US, rank-and-file Catholics need to demand a stronger voice in the decision-making policy of the Church. If the conspiratorial culture within the Catholic hierarchy now being brought to light is to be eradicated, drastic measures must be taken. First, ordinary Catholics must be given a voice in decisions made at every level of the Church. They must be able to investigate those that lead them and, if warranted, have the power to dismiss those leaders. Second, the pool of candidates for the priesthood must be widened. To do so, celibacy must no longer be a requirement, the clergy should be allowed to marry, and women should be allowed to become priests. Third, unfortunately, in order to make these changes, great pressure must be placed upon the Church. Currently, the only power at the hands of rank-and-file Catholics lies within their wallets. Until, these reforms take place, contributions should be withheld. Of course, these are drastic measures that may lead to a split between the US Catholic Church and Rome. But such changes are needed if we are to see the end of a Church hierarchy that is more concerned with careerism and pubic relations than the needs and protection of the most vulnerable members of their flock — children.
Bob Hartley, Pittsburgh
THE PROBLEM STARTS AT THE TOP, IF THE CHUCH WERE A PRIVATE COMPANY (WHICH I ARGUE IT IS)THE CEO,IN THIS CASE CARDINAL LAW, WOULD FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES FOR HIS PART IN PROTECTING THE PRIESTS(EMPLOYEES) INVOLVED. I SUGGEST A FINANCIAL BOYCOTT. GO TO CHURCH, BUT WHEN THE COLLECTON PLATE COMES AROUND,CONTRIBUTE NOTHING, OR ADD A LETTER WITH YOUR OUTRAGE AT THE ATTIDUDE AF THE LEADER??? OF THE BOSTON CATHOLIC CHURCHES. TWO OR THREE WEEKS OF NO COLLECTIONS WILL SEND A DEFINTE MESSAGE THAT CHANGE IS NEEDED,AS A CATHOLIC AF 43 YEARS I AM EMBARASSED,OUTRAGED, AND DISGUSTED, AT THE GOOD OLE BOY MENTALITY OF COVER UP THAT THE CHURCH (CARDINAL LAW)HAS ADOPTED. TREAT THEM LIKE THE BUSINESS THEY HAVE BECOME AND HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS ,IN THEIR POCKET BOOK SIGNED A CATHOLIC WHO WANTS HIS RELIGION BACK
As a Catholic . I feel Cardinal Law needs to resign . All church officials and priests have to be held accountable legally . this scandal has all the signs of a huge cover up . And is short of some underground cult . If I decided to have children , I would not raise them in the Catholic faith . It's about time that the myths of this faith be questioned .
Richard, Provincetown , MA .
Turn pedophiles (the worst kind of criminals) over to the authorities in all cases (forget praying for forgiveness and sending them to day camp) Let priests get married. Let women be priests. The Roman Catholic church has ascended to the height of hypocracy, preaching and commenting about the immoratlity of our society, while harboring and enabling the WORST kind of monsters imaginable. Shame on you.
kevin mcmahon, westwood
How about letting Priests marry women, they're human too.