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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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The major problem with the Catholic Church is their obsessive desire to keep things secret. I know for a fact that priests have been told that it was understandable to do anything as long as they don't attempt marriage. Attempting marriage is the worst of all sins which the church will not forgive or accept. Cushing was a drunk who gave no thought to his priests. Medeiros was treated like dirt by the Irish Mafia in the Chancery (the likes of Dailey etc) Law is a disgrace as a man never mind as a cardinal. Dailey and McCormack should be prosecuted as criminals. Geoghan and Shanley should be locked away in MCI Cedar Junction for life without stipends from the diocese

jf, braintree


The Catholic church needs to cleanse itself starting with Cardinal Law.

Barbara S., S. Boston


First, I am glad that my grandparents are not around to see the immorality that has infected their church. Second, It is my opinion that Cardinal Law is not above the law, though it is apparent that he believes he is. Third, Cardinal Law has commmitted heinous crimes against society and is as guilty as those who actually performed these abuses. Fourth, He should be prosecuted in a court of law, and judged by a jury of his peers. Fifth, If the Archdiocese dares to declare bankruptcy.... well the moral corruption would be complete.

Judy, Wilmington, Ma


All of you who condemn Cardinal Law for looking the way should be quiet. How many times have YOU looked the other way when you saw injustice being done. How many times has our goverment looked the other way. Most of you have no idea what is going on as it is presented to you by the media and you are sadly stupid for believing another's word without doing the research yourself. The people who complain the most are generally those who do the least and know the least. The sadest part of the whole thing is the Catholic people. They are letting the media and non-Catholic tear apart their religion and doing nothing to stand up to stop it. In fact, they are the most responsible for the damage being done, because they are weak. It is so sad that the weak-minded,angry and Godless people seem to running the show.

Peter, Boston


This needs to stop. You are killing Cardinal Law. You make him out to be something he is really not. The globe is so damn wrong for doing this. A web site for people to comment on the actions of another. This is very sick. God will deal with Cardinal Law not the Boston Globe or anyone else

AKH, Washignton, DC


Declaring bankruptcy is not going to help the people of the Church; it only protects the institution of the Church. Cardinal Law needs to spend more time figuring out how to make things right with the people who still come to Church than figuring out ways to cover his own you-know-what. I personally believe he should step down but I don't think that's likely. If he won't step down, he at least needs to admit that mistakes were made and settle the lawsuits so that people can start moving on. By not being open about past mistakes and by alienating priests and parishes with forward-thinking views, he's only keeping us all muddled in this mess.

Erin, Arlington, VA


1--The Cardinal should resign. 2--The victims should have their say; a day in court or fair arbitration through their attorneys and just settlements. 3--There should be no bankruptcy and if so the Judge should make the diocese sell off some of the huge amount of real estate they own to satisfy the victims. 4--The church must accept more input and leadership from lay Catholics.

Joh, Centerville, MA


fieldwrap@boston.com 12/06/2002 11:46 AM Religion is based upon faith. It is not science and can’t be proven. Though there are some “stories” that transcend nearly all religions – old and “new” – the Great Flood, for example. You said yourself, you are not Catholic. Let me first say that the catholic faith does NOT preach ‘against homosexuality.’ It is the bible-thumping fundamentalists who do that. We are taught tolerance and acceptance. As was stated earlier, it’s only like .05% of the priests who are the bad apples. Priests currently cannot marry, though many priests and lay people believe that this should be changed back to original form (early catholic priests were allowed to wed) Children in your town may have been too naïve and innocent to know right from wrong. Let me tell you something. I was beaten as a child in a single parent (father only) home, raised my two younger siblings… (and a few other things I’d rather not go into right now, frankly) I knew right from wrong far earlier than most children. Children who live through trauma have the ability to make their lives their own. I did not live my life blaming my current problems and behaviors on the trauma of my past. However, I don’t blame those who do. Not everyone is strong enough to learn from the situation and move on, using the traumas as learning experiences. If it wasn’t for the church, I would have become one of those troubled souls. Please know your facts before you disrespect an entire religion. For those of you who blame this all upon the religion itself -- no religion is perfect as it is based upon human belief and run by people -- flawed and imperfect. For those of you who seem to feel that catholics are anti-semites... *please* know that most of us are tolerant, loving and good people. I, for example, was taught that of all religions, the Jewish faith was the one with a direct covenant with God. . . Jesus, after all, was Jewish. :) I ask that you all please think and blame not the religion.... it's not the system of beliefs (though the chastity thing is a little ridiculous) it's the flawed people in the hierarchy and their blatant disregard for the laity. Not all priests are bad... some are gracious, kind and shining examples of what it is to be a man of God in today's age. It's the few rotten apples who spoil the batch.

Fayth, Boston


How do I proceed to officially "leave" the Catholic Church ? Anyone know.

dan , charlestown


I am sick to my stomach over all of this. I can't even see a picture of Mr. Law (Cardinal my butt) without wanting to gag. His arrogance is palatable. I'm surprised no one has tried to take him out yet.

Sharon, Waltham


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