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?
I think that priests should be held accountable for their actions just as any other citizen should be. If the Cardinal knew of these child molesters than he should have reported them to the police. I do not think that they should receive any special preference. I also feel that the Catholic Church should do away with the vow of celibacy. I do not believe they are respected any more because of this and I believe that they act out in sexually deviant ways because of this vow. In order to regain the trust of the parishoners, they need to clean house and start anew.
My thoughts are that anyone who abuses a child is a criminal and should be prosecuted appropriately and anyone who aids in this abuse through cover up, denial or lies should be punished appropriately. Obviously, it is more shocking with these deviants are posing as priests or clergy. Posing .. because they never really were priests, bishops, etc. just because a document or job title says they were .. just as in every other profession there are "fakes". However, these imposters never were recognized by God .. as real "holy men" beucase God reads the heart! I am catholic .. and thankfully, my faith is stronger than a bunch of unholy sick men ... abusing children. My faith has nothing to do with the priests of the catholic church .. but the fundamental teachings written in the Bible, the Gospels. What should the Catholic Church do .. take a stance and prosecute these imposters, take a bigger stance and open the leadership positions to real holy men and women, married, unmarried ... and focus on the fundamentals .. love and serving the Lord!! It really is simple .. that is our job all of us as Christians .. no matter if you subscribe to organized religion or not .. remove the politics and work harder .. each of us.. to love and serve the Lord and Each other. That I did not learn from a priest! I learned from my mother, from praying .. I spent 18 years from grade 1 to grad school in Catholic schools .. I was a lucky kid and did not experience abuse of any kind ... keep your eyes open ... their is evil everywhere .. what better disguise for Satan than a Clergy man! Peace.
Misty , Marlboro
Cardinal Law should accept responsibility for his failings in dealing with these ongoing situations for so long, and should resign. He is in no position to be a spiritual leader to anyone. It's going to take a long time for trust to be regained, but I feel that it's only going to happen by openly and honestly dealing with what's going on, eliminating those people who perpetuated the problem, and careful screening and training of all priests and candidates for the priesthood.
How can we every believe Cardinal Law again? How do we know when he is telling the truth or spinning the facts to 'protect the church'? How could someone in his position think that protecting the church from a scandal is far more important than protecting children from sick priests? What was Cardinal Law thinking when he learned of Rev. Paul Shanley's thoughts of Men/Boy relationships? Is this the kind of individual the Pope wants to guild his people? As a Catholic, I am sick and totally embarassed. Is Cardinal Law aware of the damage his actions have cost not only the victims, but all the good priest and Catholics who put their faith in him? Why, why did something like this have to happen?
Maureen Monroe, Dennis, MA
As a Catholic who has drifted from the Church in recent years, I am stunned by the hypocrisy that the same Church that spurns good people who happen to be gay or divorced has accepted and promoted to its highest levels those who have committed CRIMINAL ACTS against defenseless children. I hope Catholics will see it as their duty to "vote with their wallet" -- please think twice before putting money in the donation basket next Sunday.
This is a horrible tragedy and it is obvious that many of these men think they are sent from GOD and these poor children are taught to obey them...never tell a priest NO..We catholics MUST hit them where it hurts..In their pocketbook...otherwise it is just a slap on the hand...
abby bishop, evansville, in.
Here are my thoughts: 1. Force Cardinal Law to resign. 2. Criminal prosecution for all deviant priests and their supervisors - put them in jail. They don't deserve to be treated differently from any other abuser/rapist 3. The Vatican needs to take a position of advocacy for the victims -
Annie, Baltimore MD
Bottom Line: the Moral Authority no longer exists for Cardinal Law. This goes way beyond "I made a tragic mistake". A "mistake"???!!!! He allowed known child molesting priests to continually be in contact with children. That is wrong and criminal!! It's wrong now, it was wrong 10 years ago and it was wrong 30 years ago. It's always been wrong and one only needs common sense to know it. The church has a revealed history of protecting itself from scandal at the cost of monster-priests being placed in the presence of children. The church has been more concerned about image it seems than doing the right thing.
Anyone who aids and covers up for this atrocity should be tried in a court of law by a jury and punished accordingly. That applies to priest or pope. These people are the epitamy of the Anti- Christ. They should not be above the law. Cardinal Law is a criminal. He knew what he was doing. He has no excuse and should be treated as a criminal.
J Dolan, Federalsburg MD
cardinal law should definately resign.
chris walter, wayland, ma