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?
A few weeks ago, permission or whatever had to be asked from Rome about policy. Isn't that legal proof enough that the parent company should pay?
Paul , Budapest, Hungary
It's all just a horrible mess created by the Catholic church because I do not see this happening in other religions. It makes me doubt a lot of the history of the priest hood and clergy. It probably will never end.
I wish the people who say that letting priests marry or weeding out gays would "solve" the problem would stop thinking of this as a "sex" scandal, as the media so delicately puts it. Like rape, molestation is not about sex, but about abuse and corruption of power. Catholics are taught to believe that Christ lives through the Church on earth, so of course a child will believe anything a priest tells him. Law must step down now and be prosecuted, as anyone who covers up a felon, especially one as heinous as child abuse, if the Church is ever to get its grace and dignity back. Shame on you, Cardinal Law!!
I think Cardinal Law has definitely lost his authority to lead this religious group. Both my husband and I are devoted Catholics. We are very disappointed with how Cardinal Law handled the whole situation. One step further, the Vatican's reaction was not satisfactory either. We stopped going to church and stopped donating money. I think the only way for us to go back to church is to see Cardinal Law taking the responsibility and step down. Someone needs to set a good example. Now it is the time for Cardinal Law to show us that he is still worthy of our respect. The best thing for him to do is to step down. It is best for the Archdiocese of Boston, both morally and financially.
Number One: The Catholic Church is one of the richest organizations in the world. The only bankruptcy they should be declaring is a moral one. Plus, even if they had to turn over every church, every car, every gold chalice, every piece of fine art and every palace that they own wouldn't they just become more like Jesus? Number Two: Cardinal Law is lawless. He should be prosecuted. He should resign. He has said that he asked forgiveness from the parishioners but asked "what more can I do?" "Listen Bernie... if you know anything about Catholicism, you should know that there is more to it than just asking for forgiveness. What about the Act of Contrition? And in your case, that is going to take more than 3 Hail Marys and 4 Our Fathers! Your twisted view on forgiveness is what got you into trouble to begin with. People do bad things. Those people need help and understanding. But what you have done is the equivalent of forgiving someone for trying to commit suicide... then handing them a loaded gun and telling them not to do it again! Please look in the mirror and realize you are not God. You are not Jesus. You are a man who is imperfect. Your biggest sin Cardinal Law, is serving your ego instead of serving your church and your God."
If I molested a child and my friend knew about it, we'd be arrested. And if my boss raped a child and my office knew about it, we'd all be arrested as well. It disgusts me that these priests and the cardinal are just able to walk away from this, without being repremanded. I'll gladly give my tax dollars to keep these perverts in jail for the rest of their lives.
Surprise surprise the Globe does not hire or fire Bishops in The Church. When I was an unergraduate at Hrvard a very senior professor telephoned on many occasions a tutor in my house demanding sex and threatening the tutor's career if he failed to cooperate.Funny no Globe story on that tender issue.
David , Upperville, Va.
Cardinal Law has lost the moral authority to guide the Boston archdiocese. If he wants to run the Church as a business and declare bankruptcy - then as "CEO" he needs to take responsibility for the failure, acknowledge that he was too much a part of the problem to be able to fix it, step down and make rooom for someone else to lead the Church through this crisis. Either way, whether run as a business or holding itself to a higher moral authority, there's no place for Bernie Law.
If these were reports of raping little girls and not 'molesting' little boys, would any of these bastards be walking the streets right now? Nope. A lovely thing the double standard is, eh? Why anyone in their right mind would not be suspect to someone who chooses no sexual contact at all as a way of life is beyond me. Just because as youngsters we are force-fed what our parents believed, we put our children in direct contact with these people. If these same parents were signing up for daycare and the people running it were all men who swore off women and only wore black, would the parents perception of them change? I think so. Makes me feel that my decision to renounce all 'higher' beings was a right one, and that I just saw the light sooner than others. Too bad so many innocent childrens lives had to be sacrificed because of their narrow-minded parents beliefs.
Thank God I am an Atheist!!