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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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i can't believe this is still going on. i guess the church is more corrupt than i thought. what realy amazes me now is the 'in your face ' attitude the courts/justice system in this state. from now on i will be trying my darndest to get out of jury duty. i have more things going on in my little world that kowtowing to this crap! the church,forgedaboutit.

john, braintree


Not only has Law lost moral leadership, much of the hierarchy of the Church from bishops up to Pope have proven themselves to be void of moral fiber. Law has made apologies, reached out and called for openness recently, while on the other hand his lawyers tried to repress the latest document release, citing first ammendment rights (fortunately they failed). Rome has been no less duplicitous while on one hand the Pope has denounced the behavior of these deviant priests, his Cardinals have tried vigurously to keep church policy at status quo, i.e. coverups, priest shuffling, etc., and no accountability for his bishops and cardinals. I can't fathom anyone placing their faith in these so-called "men of God". I doubt that God does anymore...

Joe, Shrewsbury


I think it is appalling that they are even considering chapter 11. They owe it to these parishioners to help , afterall the church is to blame. If they want to keep the people that are left they need to do what is morally right.

Nancy, South Easton


Accountability. Where is it? If this was a private sector scandal where the CEO had full knowledge of employee rape and child molestation - and willfully covered it up - wouldn't that CEO be put on trial as an accomplice? Let Law go down with the Ship if he wants by clinging to his post in Boston... but why is he not being legally prosecuted for his actions? Throw him in the Slammer!

Mike, Boston


fieldwrap@boston.com 12/05/2002 01:44 PM I think it is past time to demand action from the county DAs in this matter. Nothing fosters contempt for our laws faster than refusal to enforce them against the powerful. The priests and bishops of the Catholic Church, as with all other religions, must obey the laws of the USA. No one is above the law. The Catholic church claims that only they can "discipline" priests for their crimes, that would warrant an arrest and trial under our criminal code. It is an offense against justice to even hear them speak such nonsense. Imagine how catholics in Boston would react if this news was about Baptists ministers or Lutherans, or whomever. I hardly think we would allow them to discipline rapists among their ranks. And I am sure we not allow them to interview the victims before notifying the police. Please

C K


I was wondering if the Globe was ever contacted by victims or their familys when this abuse was going on.

Mary Anne, Boston, MA


Isn't this a regurgitation of developments from earlier this year? The Cardinal has said on numerous occassions that awful errors in judgement were made. What continues to be reported is not anything new. Instead of waiting for response from the Cardinal, we assume that everything reported in the media is Gospel truth. I am sure there are documents that show how the Church attempted to deal with wayward priests. But journalism is selective...I am amazed how this newspaper hasn't detailed more of the 'non-action' of Judge Lopez or how mob-brother Bulger kept information secret or how a 51 year old woman was clobbered to death by a gay man outside a Chicago Catholic Church (which I guess is not a hate crime). In terms of morality, I would follow the teachings of the Catholic Church and not that of the Boston Globe Editorial page.

David, Lawrence


Cardinal Law is not a spirtual leader! He should resign. What he did was as bad as the actual abusers. However, what makes these victims eligible to recieve millions in settlement money .. now they will trickle down bad feelings and crumble an already failing institution .. so more can suffer. I was sexually abused by a neighbor (more than a pat on the rear behind the altar) .. can I sue for millions? I went to therapy, forgave and moved on .. what will the money give to these victims>??? How will that heal them? It won't.

Mary , Framingham


What goes around, comes around.

CR, Boston


Law most definitely lost his moral authority to govern anyone, especially in the name of God. He perpetrated the molestation of children knowingly and the fact that he is still acting as a Cardinal is just another glaring example of the arrogance of the Catholic Church higherups. And Law's faults I see as a sympton of the real problem. I get frustrated when people talk as if his resignation would set so much straight, sweeping dirty laundry under the rug has been the answer for hundreds of years for the Catholic Church. If the church is allowed to claim chap 11 and skirt their legal responsibilities on top of years of abuse, how can we as Catholics feel good about funding them from here on in?

k, worc, ma


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