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Globe coverage of the scandal has been divided into nine categories:

MESSAGE BOARD / Dec. 5, 2002

In recent weeks, a contrite Cardinal Bernard Law has made emotional apologies for his handling of abusive priests and met with members of a lay Catholic group he had previously shunned. But archdiocesan personnel files released this week have exposed glaring new instances of church negligence and provided more evidence that Law knew of abuse allegations against priests who were allowed to remain on active church duty for years. Facing an estimated 450 abuse claims, the archdiocese may declare bankruptcy. In light of this week's revelations, what are your feelings on the church crisis? Has Law lost the moral authority to lead the archdiocese? Where must Boston Catholics look for leadership? And what should be done to address the church's financial crisis?

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Why doesn't Cardinal Law take the moral high road, admit mistakes where made and settle with the victims. If he files for bankcruptcy his morality is seriously in question. Isn't this the sleaze way out to protect your assets? As a catholic I would like to see him do the right thing and Cardinal Law, you know what that is.

Paula A., Braintree


After the most recent documents were released I would think that Cardinal Law would resign forthwith. I believe he has lost all creditability with the people of the diocese he is supposed to be leading. We as Catholics in the Boston Diocese deserve better.

Judith , West Bridgewater


Let's wake up to the fact that the Boston Archdiocese is a political organization and not a religious one. Cardinal Law refuses to step down and now the church wants to declare bankruptcy. This organization is not just run like a corporation, it is one. You have to wonder what is their true motivation...

RR, Cambridge


These people who violate children are evil. I can't imagine why people would ever support such horrible crimes. If this happened to someone who wasn't a "religious" figure (especially catholic) they would be behind bars before we knew what happened. It is time to separate ourselves from this religious hold and show them that God will not save them this time. They've gone too far!

LJ, Boston


Things are not bad enough in this state. We need new leaders to help us move forward and one of those leaders needs to be a new Cardinal. Law must go!!! How much decete do we need to see? He is filing for bankruptcy to get out of paying.

Donna, Boston


Ship old Bernie off to the Vatican and revoke his passport.

geep, boston


Mr. Attorney General: If you won't indict Cardinal Law, you should be impeached. I don't care if the case is thrown out of court for technical reasons that you warned us about. If you lose, fine, but if you don't even prosecute, that's not fine. Indict Law and maintain our trust.

emanon no name backwards, Boston, MA


One is way too many, but I think the numbers should be put in context. These numbers would never be reported in the Globe of course, seeing its the red-headed step child of the NY Times. There are roughly 60,000 priests in the US, 300 have been removed for abuse. Thats 0.5%. One half of one percent of all US clergy. Is it a problem? Absolutely. Is it an epidemic? Hardly.

Melissa, Boston


It is mind-boggling that Bernard Law somehow feels that he can just stay in office and people will forget his incredible negligence, misjudgements, and shameful misconduct. He clearly has no moral authority to stay in his office and, if anything, he will stand in the way of money contributions to the Archdiosis of Boston. I know I will have nothing to do with the church from now on as long as he is there. LW

Lorne , Worcester area


It's a disgrace. Has Law lost moral authority to lead? How can it even be a question? The church is in a sad situation, and one that it will not recover from quickly. The healing may begin when Law resigns. If that will ever happen remains to be seen. As for the financial crisis? How can the archdiocese expect people to give, when they can't even respect parishioners enough to let groups such as Voice of the Faithful meet on church property. It's just insulting to those who want to take an active role in restoring the Church (not necessarily changing it) but are constantly battling some twisted covert mission of Law and his close associates. The whole thing is absurd.

Lisa B., Dorchester


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