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Globe coverage of the scandal has been divided into nine categories:

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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Page 5


Over the past year, the Church hierachy's true colors have shown through ... lies, deceit, cover ups! It has all about power, not the love of God. Law should resign but will probably be prmoted to Rome!

Paul, Lowell


fieldwrap@boston.com 12/05/2002 02:05 PM Cardinal Law should be in jail. The man knowingly moved abusive priests around in an effort to hide their crimes. Thats not only neglegent, its immoral and criminal.

skott a. wade, allston, mass


The Catholic Church is once again doing what it seemingly does best - putting the interests of the Catholic Church before all others. The level of indifference and incompetence demonstrated by Cardinal Law is both staggering and embarrassing, and his cynical attempt to retain his position is insulting to compassionate and responsible people of all faiths and beliefs. Has he no shame? Is he not aware that actions speak louder than half-hearted apologies? The Vatican is fabulously wealthy, so lawyers for the abuse victims should get on the first plane to Rome to push their claim for restitution should the Boston Archdiocese file for bankruptcy.

MG, Boston


This whole scandal surely shows that the devil is alive and well in the world's strongest religion and he has shown himself and pursued his cause through sex in the form of pedophiles and homosexuals.

Church reader, Boston, MA


I can't believe that the Catholic Church still has a congregation left! I thought that Americans were "too smart" to fall into the "blind faith" trap that many other countries are experiencing. I stopped going to Church the week my brother "who was raped by a priest" died. Although the rape was not responsible for his death, I still cannot forgive the priest who did it or the Catholic Church. I just couldn't believe that any priest had a right to stand up there and "preach" to me (or anyone else). Yet there are so many (my mother for one) who continue to go to Church at least once a week and continue to give them money. As far as I'm concerned, the Church is dead. I say, arrest them all and throw away the key. Don't let them get away with it.

anonymous, Braintree


Not only should Law lose his leadership, he should be put in prison. He has proven that he never had the morals to be a leader and he never had the decency to be a human being. He has proven that the Catholic Church is a corrupt organization, and by filing for bankruptcy, the church has shown that the it still does not get the message about abuse, nor does it care about it's members and the harm it has done them. They are a business, and like any business, the bottom line is money. I look forward Mr Law going to Hell.

Ben, South Boston


The whole thing is about money and who can get the most the fastest. Probably some were hurt the Globe , of course, escalated the issues, to show thier view and sell papers. I would agree with the church to file bankruptcy and any other means to defeat the gold rush. Cardinal Law not Law has not lost his ability to lead, as a matter of fact it may just have been enhanced. However leadership is not in the Cardinals hands.

JR, Framingham


Since 1984 Cardinal Law allowed, promoted and covered up criminal acts by his priests. In 1993 he set wonderful new standards for priestly behavior in his archdiocese, then allowed the dispicable acts to continue. This year he set up an abuse committee but didn't implement their recommendations. Should we respect a man with 18 years history of lies and deceit. This pompous ass should be in jail, not in church.

Dennis , Winnipeg, Canada


The hipocracy of the Catholic church has made it a laughing stock. What makes Law such an idiot?? Why doesn't he just...well...leave?! He still doesn't get it!!!

Don, Marlborough


As I former Catholic, I have no personal stake in the outcome of the current catastrophe, beyond the hope that some sort of justice can be afforded to the victims of the church, the cardinal, and the clergy. I am entirely content to see Law continue as archbishop of Boston, precisely because he has lost all credibility. It is now far less likely that his political agenda for all of us, starting with outlawing abortion under all circumstances, will come to pass. Boston Catholics, like all mature adults, should look first to their own consciences for moral instruction. They need to bear in mind that, by paying, praying, and not prying too deeply in the years since priest rapists first became a nationally known story -- the Boston papers have had references to it since the mid 1980's -- they have enabled Law to enable pedophile priests. There is no financial crisis in the Church -- Its unused and underused properties could be put on the market in the morning to provide funds for reparations to the victims, as well as to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is spending large sums of money to investigate claims which, in most cases, reach a dead end because of statutes of limitations. In any case, the making of restitution for past misdeeds is an essential element of justice.

Dave, Somerville MA


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