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?
A lot of us have been pointing to the problems and the hypocrisy of the church for years. It's sad that it takes this level of scandal to open the eyes of the brainwashed faithful.
WITH ALL THAT HAS COME OUT AND THE WAY THE CHURCH IS HANDLING IT, I.E. FILING BANKRUPTCY, LYING, LETTING PEOPLE BE HARMED AND KNOWINGLY LETTING IT BE DONE. THESE ARE ALL THE THINGS THE CHURCH TAUGHT ME NOT TO DO WHEN I WENT TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL. I WAS TAUGHT TO STAND UP AND TAKE WHATEVER WAS COMING TO ME. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF TODAY IS TEACHING EVERYONE THAT IF YOU GET INTO TROUBLE PROTECT YOUR ASSETS, WHATEVER THE COST, IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY, EVEN IN THE CHURCH. NO MONEY OR APOLOGY IS GOING TO HELP THE VICTIMS GET OVER WHAT HAPPENED. I TRULY AM DISGUSTED. I GET GREAT PEACE WHEN I GO TO CHURCH, BUT I AM NOT HAPPY WITH ITS LEADERS. ALSO I AM VERY UPSET THAT ALL THE PRIESTS THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS ARE SUFFERING.
RITA , SOMERVILLE
Going bankrupt? Maybe they should consider selling some of their assets which are readily available and on display at the Vatican. Sell a painting or two or a bronze statue. That should keep them from having to file Chapter 11. Hows about it Bernard?
Normal citizens of this country would be in prison for a lot less than what is happening here. Law belongs in prison with them. Maybe he can attempt to help change lives in the joint.
Mike , Norwood
This is more than a scandal, this is a disgrace to ALL people of ALL religions. Lawsuits are fine, but criminal charges need to be brought against those who claimed to be pure and good but instead used positions of power to manipulate young men and women to satisfy there own perverse desires.
Chad , Salemn
The Cardinal and all of the guilty priests should be made to carry their own crosses down the street to their own crucifictions, while all those people affected by their actions and neglect are allowed to stone them. All of the Church's properties should be put up for auction and the Pope should fire everyone and start the religion all over again.
RW, BEDFORD, MA
In my opinion, Law and all of the churches leaders are sexual criminals and should be tried as such. Any judge or court that allows them to hide behind the collar is also a sexual criminal. We are talking about children's lives being destroyed. Isn't that the only thing that matters here? And aren't children supposed to be the most precious gift God has given? Then let's all start living like that.
Jay , Newton, MA
As another victim of abuse by the church I can honestly say that the best feelings I have had in a long long time is to see them suffering in the public eye right now. I would not be surprised or saddened by the colla[se of the catholic church
I'm not Catholic. I'm not religeous for that matter. Still, that does not mean that I cannot see right from wrong. Religeon in itself is contractictory and an inexact practice. It is all a matter of interpretation. These so-called religeous leaders are acting contradictory to their teachings. They preach the sanctity of marriage. They preach against homosexuality.. yet quite a few are homosexual, cannot marry, and commit child rape. This is not a small localized problem. Open your eyes to the sheer number of victims. Count up how many priests have been uncovered so far. I grew up in a Catholic town, and the CHILDREN (when I was a child) spoke AMONG each other about priest abuse! It was a running joke between the kids. Unfortunately it was the truth. Children are too innocent and naive to know right from wrong. They see an adult. They see a respected member of the community (the priest), and don't know any better. My suggested punishment? Castrate anyone that commits child rape, remove the priest from service, and ship him off to Iran with a tattooed forehead saying "i'm a catholic failure". Cardinal Law should be the first in line.
G, Franklin, MA
Karen in Waltham, I see your point, but with all due respect, I think you have it backwards. Abstinence does not cause pedophilia; it just makes you horny. Pedophilia is a disease, not the normal behavior of someone who has been deprived of sex. The point is that the church's celibacy requirement attracts people with this illness. It's a place for them to try to hide from their disease, because they don't have to explain why they don't have a normal sex life. It also gives them easy access to their unsuspecting prey.