How has the abuse scandal impacted your parish?
"Parish at the crossroads" tells the story of how one Boston-area chuch has coped with the priest sexual abuse scandal.
What effect has the crisis had on your parish? Has it drawn the congregation closer together? Driven them apart? How have your priest and parish leaders responded to the crisis, and are you satisfied with their efforts?
Didn't Jesus once say to his followers, "My Church should be a house of prayer, but instead you have turned it into a den of thieves." Jesus might of said this a long time ago, but how many times throughout history could we site examples, including the present day's "alleged" corruption, that HE might apply the above quote to. It's not the church, itself to blame, but the many evil people throughout history who have been running them and using their church as their den of evil deeds. Starting with the high chain of command and working down through the ranks, let's get rid of the criminals, for once, for the good of the church, and for the good of the people, and for the good of the faith.
Sick people can be found almost anywhere, even in the priesthood. The church was not at fault for having these people as part of it, but the church's attitude since these issues came out is beyond belief. And you can't say that there are good priests, good cardinals, or ened good Catholics if they have not stood up since January and DEMANDED something be done. These people are as bad as the rapists themselves because they condone it. Catholics should be ashamed of themselves. But the Vatican was right, they did not need to do anything about the abuse because they knew just how short the attention span of the rank and file Catholic nowadays really is. All they needed was enough time for American Catholics to forget that their OWN CHILDREN WERE RAPED!!! PATHETIC!!
Until someone from the church and speaks up, I will never attend mass again. If people do feel bad that the "entire" church is being prosecuted, why haven't we seen any priests on TV talking about how embarrased they are by Cardinal Law's actions. That will never happen, as he cuts the checks folks!! It is disgusting and a shame that the "entire" church community has not stepped up.
Thankfully, I'm not Catholic. Isn't it ironic that the Church is facing this after centuries of spreading hate against Jews by the absurd and maliscious accusations that Jews kidnapped Christian children to use their blood for religious rituals.
None - but then again, I'm not a Catholic. We always knew this stuff was going on but thought it was priests and nuns (Ursaline Convent - 1840's). Times change I guess.
Theodore E. Baker, Kingston, Ma
I went to Austin Preparatory School in Reading, MA from 1988-1994 and I can honestly say my experiences there have stripped away any desire I may have had to participate in any form of organized religion. I know personally of two incidents that occured involving very improper interactions between two different members of the faculty who were Brothers in the Catholic Church. The incidents were dealt with in typical Catholic fashion: the boys told their parents, the parents confronted the school, and the offending faculty members were removed from the school. I have no doubt that they probably continued to work with children somewhere else, as no charges were filed, and the school was only interested in getting rid of them and keeping things quiet. To anyone who has children, I urge you: do not send them to any form of Catholic school. The Catholic tradition of abuse and unrepentant, uncooperative silence speaks for itself.
Our parish priest is a very rigid man and not easy to talk to. I went to him in March to ask about our policy here in the Helena Diocese and met with a brick wall. He would only say that any sexual misconduct by a priest would be dealt with seriously by Bishop Merlino. When I asked if our diocese had a written sexual abuse policy I was told that he assumed that we did but, if he had a copy he did not offer it to me When I asked for the address for the Bishop he started to write it out and then crumpled it up and threw it away and told me if i wanted to write him i would have to get the adress myself and then he told me not to say which parish i was from. Dah, the postmark would be Whitefish and we have only one church. After Easter he did say to the church that the sexual abuse of children was disgusting and that he had never sexually abused a child and never would. End of sentence. Period. That is where it has stayed since. I was so upset by the time I got home that, after talking to my husband we wrote a letter each of us to the parish priest and the Bishop and the Archbishop explaining that we would no longer support the church with money to protest the payment of hush money to victims. My husband was raised in Anaconda Montana and when he was in his early teens several of his friends were sexually abused by a priest there and when he wrote the letter to the bishop and the archbishop in Seattle and the parish priest about not giving any more money he stated that he had personal knowledge of sexual abuse bya priest. Sadly, not one replied and asked for more information That fact more than any other has seriously affected our relationship with the church. We are not donating any money but but instead are donating to our own personal charities, and as far as attending mass we are vagabonds going to mass in a 15 mile radius to our home parish and have not attended what was our home parish since March. I was baptised in that church, and married there too. My husband was a lector and a 4th degree KofC and we taught 7th and 8th grade REA two years but the hostility of this priest (i believe because of my talk with him)toward us is just too difficult to deal with on top news report after news report of new and old cases of sexual abuse, lying and avoidance of the truth it is just almost too much to deal with. The Bishop did send out a letter to the people of the diocese stating that he had no knowledge of sexual abuse by any priest in the Helena diocese. He should look through the records and tell the truth.It happened before he came but it is there. Half truth???? All in all the way this is being dealt with in our parish is to ignore it and it will go away, i am sure that is as it is in the rest our our diocese. sad huh? to deal with. i think it would be safe to say that here and not one
cookie fleming, whitefish, mt
I find it very intersting when I hear people say that they will abandon their faith because of what the Cardinal has done (or failed to do). I have to wonder or strong their faith really was to begin with or is this just an excuse not to get up on Sunday. There is no excuse for what the Church Hierarchy did, but Jesus said to render unto Ceaser that which is Ceasar's and render unto God that which is God's. Those who committed crimes should be punished under the law. However, our beliefs should not waver because the messenger's have sinned. Maybe those who say they lost their faith never had it to begin with.
Bud Sussek, Canton
As a former altar boy as well as a money counter for the Catholic Church on the South shore in the 80's I can say, fortunately, that I was never abused. However, the obvious hypocrisy and flagrant disregard for people has made it a lot easier for me to stay FAR AWAY from the Catholic church (I have not attended regularly since '86) as possible. How can people give blind faith (that's all it is in the end) to an organization that has proven for centuries to be corrupt? When people ask waht religion I am tell them I'm a Recovering Catholic..........Don't support the cycle!
Peter, Breckenridge, CO
I decided in early January that I was going to find my faith again. I started attending mass on a weekly basis, I even went through a mission held at our parish church. But as time has creeps by, I can't help thinking why am I doing this? It makes me sick to my stomach to think about what has taken place and what is going on now. I look up at the priest during mass and wonder if he'll be then next one in the news. Our priest's way of dealing with it is to say how little money will be coming in and how insurance prices have skyrocketed...so dig deeper and give us more money. I can honestly say that I find it very hard to go to church anymore never mind give them money.