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?
This has been unfolding for a lot more than 3 months - try 40 years! The Church needs to get back to being CATHOLIC and stop trying to reach accommodations with modernity. As long as seminaries are hotbeds of homosexuality and theologians openly dissent from the truths of the Faith, we will have problems like this. When (and if) the Church tries to get it's house in order, the Catholic faithful must remind themselves that the Church was divinely founded by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and it possesses the truth even when it's leaders fail to live it or transmit it faithfully. he faithful should remember that within hours of founding the Church, Christ was betrayed by one of his chosen twelve and denied three times by the man he chose as their leader, Saint Peter. As bad as some of the popes of the Middle Ages were, none of them ever taught false doctrine - no matter how sinful their own lives. That lesson must not be forgotten. The Church does not depend on the personal sanctity of Her priests or bishops (although it doesn't hurt) or she would have perished long ago. Catholics must continue to trust the Faith even when they find they are unable to trust a particular priest or bishop.
Allen Maynard, Norwell
How can church officials regain the trust of their faithful? How can Enron officials regain the trust of their stockholders? Regain the trust of their faithful, no way, the trust of ignorant, maybe. Trust is not something you can trade on, either it exists or it doesn't. Rank and file Catholics need to demand an overhaul in church leadership, this current bunch of rotten apples will no longer due. Do not allow them to play the gulit card, Law and his cronies are guilty on so many levels. They need to be removed from the church and transferred to Walpole. It is afterall the bible that reads, "an eye for an eye", let Law and his colleagues get their dosage of "eye" from some of our states other criminals!
I think the logical solution right now is to get Cardinal Law ro resign. If he is unwilling to do so he must be removed. How can the rank-and-file have any respect for someone in that position who blatently lies. Did he not realise he would get caught? I have no time for the church as a result of his actions. If he has any dignity, he will do what the Bishop in Ireland did and resign.
If you cover up sexual abuse you are JUST as guilty as the abuser. We must determine WHO covered up the abuse (as it is a criminal act) and prosecute them along with the abusers. Who is responsible for this? Maximum punishment should be handed down.
Let Catholic Priests marry.
I would like us to go back to the bible for answers to these questions. First let me say that if you do not believe the bible is God's written word then these passages will have no meaning to you. God spoke by His Holy Spirit to hundreds of men and women who wrote what God told them to write. The first two passages are related to how we should handle those who are in sin. Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. The next passage is a warning from God to those who cause His children harm. Jeremiah 23:1 "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares the Lord . 2 Therefore this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares the Lord . Finally, this is what Jesus said about children: Luke 18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I am not a bible scholar, but I believe God speaks plainly to these issues. Let Him judge His church. 1 Samuel 24:12 May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. Hebrews 10:30 For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"[ 10:30 Deut. 32:35] and again, "The Lord will judge his people."[ 10:30 Deut. 32:36; Psalm 135:14] May God deal with us according to His grace and mercy!
Nick Scarpa, Tewksbury
Cardinal Law is only reponsible to the Pope, who is not well. The only way rank and file catholics can effecively address the problem is to petition directly the Pope or the Papal Secretariat of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano in vatican city. In view of His Holiness ill health, the secretary of state would be the best choice, directly to Vatican City. Local protests are no more than therapeutic window dressing. No attention will be paid, you have only to look at the Vatican City website to see that this problem is not mentioned at all. The United States does not loom large in the Vatican, however the Holy See does have an effective and proud administration and can be moved by appeals for redress of failure of pastoral care. This reflects poorly upon them. Very likely, the people of the Archdiocese of Boston will have to wait for the election of a new pope.
The pedophile scandal is the result of several interdependent factors that worked together to create the environment for this to happen. This is time to address not just the symptoms, as painful as they are, but the factors that encouraged the proliferation and protection of pedophiles: 1. Secretive hierarchy. 2. Male-dominated organization. 3. Imposed celibacy. 4. Present seminary system.
Just stop going to Church.
The pope should resign because of senility and failure of leadership.
Charles Goering, St. Cloud, MN