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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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Let's get this over and done with--GET RID OF CARDINAL LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rick, Roslindale


It is most obvious Cardinal Law MUST step down. The other questions to ask are....can he be implicated for lying under oath during his depositions? If so, The Attorney General should take prompt action. The continued lies and deceit from the Archdiocese and its Hierarchy just prove to me daily that my decision to leave the Church becomes more justified.........on top of it all, they will File for Chapter 11 and leave the abused sitting in the cold once more. Wonders never cease for this incredulous faith who preach restitution as a foundation for the forgiveness of sin. Ashamed

Mike P, Hampstead NH


Let us aproach this entire issue with a big drum of white out, delete all references to the church and substitute some other group, oh... lets say the "Society for the Improvement of Widgets" what would we do to this society for the same deeds? I am afraid that the church has proven it is nothing more than human and needs to learn lessons that you or I would learn should we have done the same.

M R Hill, Easton


Bernard Law should not resign. He should be prosecuted and imprisoned for his allowing the people under his supervision, to keep committing some of the most insidious and hideous crimes in our society. After all before all of these allegations, these priests were considered some of the most trusted members of our society, and we have been let down by their criminal actions. This whole mess is very disgusting.

G.D., Milford


Cardinal Law has apologized many times, but he is not sorry for what he has done. He is only sorry that his ignorance, negligence and apathy have been made public. I was baptized catholic and received 12 years of a catholic education. It was good education and I'm grateful for that, but as a young adult I began to become disillusioned with the church and it's "politics". That is when I first witnessed examples of discrimination and indifference. Looking back now, it was only the tip of the iceburg. My classmates and I felt so strongly about the injustices that we picketed in front of the Cardinal's residence. From that point on I lost respect for the Cardinal and many church leaders and so did many of my classmates. After that I looked within myself for moral guidance and leadership. I'm glad I learned that lesson a long time ago. It feels good to say, "I told you so!"

Diane, Chelsea


fieldwrap@boston.com 12/06/2002 09:14 AM What? No financial contribution from the Vatican or other Archdiocese to settle claims? Wow.... It's like sueing a portion of a company...like the Shipping Department.....Only in the Catholic Church....Guess the Vatican has no problem standing by and watching the Archdiocese crumble into financial ruin.

Mike P, Hampstead NH


In March of this year, I revealed that I was abused by 3 priests as a child and adolescent here in Missouri where I live. I grew up in a small town where all of this happened over the course of a number of years. I continue to be horrified about how the hierarchy has handled the whole issue of abusive priests. I follow your coverage of the Boston Archdiocese daily, and am appalled even more by the revelations of this week. Cardinal Law should resign--bottom line. If he thinks that he can pull the Boston Church out of this mess, he is delusional. New blood, new approaches, new thinking. Only then will there be any hope for the recovery of moral authority, leadership, and trust, which is all but completely lost. In reference to bankruptcy, I see it as another ploy by the church's legal team to pressure victims to hurry and settle. The Church has tried so hard to shield itself from public scrutiny; do you think they will allow their financial records to be made public? I bet they don't! "Woe to you hypocrites..." --Jesus was pretty smart!

Christopher, St. Louis


Now is a good time to reinforce the belief that religion is within us and very private to each of us. Other mortal "men" must stop their claim to being messengers of "The Creator" because they are no more and no less religious than those of us who don't have the official title. They are as apt to transgress, if not more so, because of their unreasonable vows and ideas of who and what a "holy man" is. Man created "Houses of God" and organized religion to divide the masses for ease of control....."The Creator" who created the first atom that started this whole universe cannot be this egocentric, destructive, controlling or greedy!! More power to those who can recognize that the buildings that are labeled "Houses of God" and the men that assign them the title are far from being Holy, but rather modern missionaries trying to maintain control through fear! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all could just love, respect and cherish our planet and treat it like our home instead of dumping on differences, and destroying people, creatures, places and things we don't understand. For those of you who will take this s a direct threat to your "House of God":- this is not propoganda, it is just one person's opinion!!

KB, Acton


Cardinal Law lost the moral authority to lead long before these new and despicable revlevations have come to light. How can he continue to serve?? As a school administrator, I would have immediately lost my job (and rightly so!) if I had known of any of my teachers molesting children and taken no legal action. He should be arrested and charged immediately, let alone be removed as Cardinal.

Janet, Boston


My husband and I feel terribly betrayed by our church leaders. We are disgusted with The Cardinal's handling of this hole mess. I have no respect for him as a person and certainly no respect for him as the leader of this Archdiocese. He should go!

Anna, Waltham, MA


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