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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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What does being gay have to do with being a pedophile? Law should be put in jail. Thank GOD I'm not a Catholic. My husband is a Catholic but my children will not be raised Catholic.....no way. The entire situation is a disgrace.

JOC, Wilmington


The entire church from here to rome, especially rome, should be ashamed of themselves. The proof is coming out that the highest levels of the church sought to deceive us and sweep things under the rug - their cover-up is deplorable and makes me sick to be a catholic. They failed the most needy of us all, the children, just to cover up some sick, twisted child molesters, speaking of which, bernie needs to step down because he has proven that he is part of the problem.

Kevin, waterboro, maine


As a person who grew up Catholic in Boston I am very happy that the Globe keeps the pressure on the corrupt practices of Cardinal Law and his cronies. He must go, and so should Daly, Banks, Hughes, Darcy and all the rest who didn't do enough to stop him.

Frederick , Newark, DE


The Catholic Church needs a SERIOUS overhaul starting with Cardinal Bernard Law's dismissal if they expect anyone with compassion or common sense to remain members of the church. GET LAW OUT! The thought of the archdiocese filing for bankruptcy is absurd considering the amount of money & real estate they own. I say PAY UP to those abused!

MB, Stoughton, Ma


The only thing the church understands in money -- that was painfully demonstrated this week with the finance committee's vote to go belly-up. When Cardinal Law goes away my money comes back to the collection box. GO AWAY BERNIE YOU'VE DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE!!!

William , Winthrop


The revelations of December confirm the judgment of this summer that the Vatican itself made grievous error in allowing Cardinal Law to hold on to office. The sin of valueing the reputation of clergy and bishops above the obligation to protect children extends to the top of the institution. Absent action to demonstrate recognition of the error, removal of offenders, and contrition, any contribution by aware Catholics can only be called scandelous.

Jim , Battle Creek, MI


All my life I have been consumed with "guilt" imposed upon me while trying to live a "Christian" life as a Catholic. Now, the very people who did the "guilting" and heard my sorry little confessions have been exposed as they really are. I won't be changing my faith, because I do believe and practice my faith, just get the demons out of the church.....particularly Cardinal Law. Makes me wonder what he's hiding! May God have mercy on his soul!

Judy , Holden


Bernard Law makes me ashamed to be a Catholic. Obviously, he only cares about keeping the lid on and maintaining his position in the Church. He is an unrepentant sinner at best and a criminal at worst. I wish he would just go away. Aodhan

Aodhan


I served in the Navy for 20 years. A strict chain of command modeled much like that of the Roman Catholic Church. I was given responsibility, the authority to carry out those resposibilities, and held accountable for my actions. In such a huge organization the Commanding Officer must delegate almost all of his responsibilities. A critical part of this, considered a primary duty, is to train, guide and develop the leadership skills of junior officers. A good CO devotes much of his time towards this. In fact the way the chain of command works, he is forced to do this. As a leader he knows it is crucial to maintain good order and disipline in order to sucessfully complete the mission. When an Aircraft Carrier runs aground because the navigator, a junior officer, did not carry out his responsibilties he will recieve some form of punishment. However, the Commanding Officer will recieve the most severe punishment. His career is done! They may let him serve out his time at some shore duty administrative job, but it's all over. It has to be this way because responsibility and authority mean nothing without accountability. A few of Cardinal Law's junior officers (parrish priests) srewed up badly on his watch to say the least. As commanding officer, Cardinal Law must be removed from the chain of command immediately! His leadership is satined...credibility gone...loyalty of his junior officers is in jeporady...the helplessness and frustration of the enlisted ranks are being felt. I suppose this is really an appeal to the top of the chain of command, the Pope. Please, as leader of the church, take decisive action now. Relieve Cardinal Law of command. The mission is more important than any one individual.

Kevin , Townsend


It is a never ending saga of faith gone awry. How can the so-called "true church" be so tainted within it's rank and file. It seems the power structure is such that anything goes just to keep the internal scandal quiet. Faith is a wonderful thing to be a part of, no matter what religion is followed. Faith is what people need to feel happy, safe and secure in their everday lives so that when solace is sought, one can reasonably be assured that proper guidance is forthcoming. But right now the catholic church is shown to be so corrupt that how can one believe? There is good in all faiths, for those that minister to the people, but unfortunately as was said so many years ago that to beware, many will come in my name. The many have arrived, and not only in the catholic church. For the so-called true faith to be so naive that just prayers and forgiveness will be the "fix" is ludricrous. The POPE believes he is infallible and he wants all his priests to be perfect? Really! It seems that what ever the solution is will take years to fix and possibly for GOD to cleanse evil as he did with casting Adam and Eve from the garden, destroying Sodom & Gommorrah, even if thy right han offend thee, to cut it out. A new path is needed. Just what did the church use for it's recruitment song for it's priests over the years? Was it "WHERE THE BOYS ARE?" We definetely need a new theme.

Charles , Southington, Ct.


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