January 25, 2004
January 4, 2004
Your thoughts on Cardinal Law and the abuse scandal
Some have suggested that Cardinal Bernard Law should resign for his failure to remove former priest John Geoghan from contact with children years ago, when Law first learned of allegations that Geoghan was abusing boys. The cardinal has apologized for his inaction, but said he will not resign. We asked Boston.com users if they are satisfied with what Cardinal Law has said and done in the matter thus far, and if he should resign.
I am not Catholic, but I have have grown up these 20 years under the benevolent shadow of Cardinal Law, attending area parochial schools and meeting him on a few occasions. When I first met him in third grade, posing at Holy Cross with him and four other children for a photo, he said a few kind words and gave us a blessing. I felt then that we were lucky to have this gentle, loving, and wise man leading the church. I saw him a few years later, singing at his mother's funeral. Then, as in now, I was impressed by his caring and gentle character. If there is any doubt that he is in touch with his laity, I was convinced when he gave me and my school choir the next Monday off from classes. I have not stayed in touch with the church since then, and I know little about the Father Geoghan case. But it seems to me that the Cardinal has admitted to his own wrong, more than many of our secular leaders are willing to do. In this he has shown an inspiring humility and dedication to do right. I know this much: Christianity is as much about forgiveness as anything else. If there was ever anyone who has earned the forgiveness of Catholics for any wrongdoing, his Eminence is certainly one. His remorse and determination to correct past wrongs alone has earned him that much. As for myself, the Cardinal is a man I would like to meet once again and thank for the example of godliness, humility, faith, and service, as well as leadership that he has provided over the years.
I see no reason why Cardinal Law should ever consider resigning. His leadership is needed more than ever as the Church deals with fallout from the Geoghan trials. Those who criticize Cardinal Law are hypocritical. Every profession from doctors to lawyers to journalists to corporate executives has members who can be deemed 'bad apples'. It is very rare these days to see a profession make an honest effort to accept responsibility for past mistakes and to move forward. Most professions hire high-priced public relations spinmeisters and lawyers to improve their image. Cardinal Law has shown great courage by admitting mistakes were made, apologizing for any inaction, and taking steps to enact positive change. This is true leadership! We'd be a much better country if other professions followed Cardinal Law's leadership example.
Please let me start by saying that Cardinal Law should resign immediately. He can never right the wrongs of the abused children. Too little way too late. The sin of it all was that he knew exactly what was happening , and lied about it as well as having all his subordinates cover up and lie for him. A few years ago, the Pope stated that all divorced people are undesireables, and can not receive the sacraments. I think that is is time for the catholic church to get its priorities straight, accepting child molesters into the fold and pushing away divorced peoples does not seem to be the way to get into heaven.
His Eminence's resignation would serve no purpose other than to satisfy those who are out for blood, the Catholic bashers, dissidents and malcontents. The strident critics gain their dubious wisdom from the benefit of hindsight, which, when misapplied makes geniuses of idiots.
Cardinal Law has recognized a mistake and has acknowledged it repeatedly. A lesser man would have hidden. No useful purpose is served in continuing to harrass His Eminence. We are in a position to turn the page on a sordid chapter and get about the business of healing.
This dedicated man of God his given the best years of his life to the people of the Archdiocese of Boston, Catholics and non Catholics alike. He has never asked for our thanks, only for the opportunity to continue serving God and man.
Who among us is vicious enough to deny him that?
Law has absolutely no right to take the law into his own hands. By covering up this despicable act, many children have suffered and have been hurt. NO EXCUSE.
Any leadership in any organization who puts or maintains a child molester in a child contact role, knowing that he is a child molester, is guilty of one of the grossest forms of negligence availible to a human being.
There is no legal cause for forgiving such behavior regardless of any religious belief that it will be forgiven by God.
Religious belief does not legitimize disobeying the law, let alone harming innocent children, regardless of whether the perp is Tim McVeigh, Osama, Jim Jones, The Solar Temple, John Walker, John Geoghan, Cardinal Law or the Pope.
Prosecute them all to the maximum allowed under the law.
Cardinal Law should resign and be thankful if, in fact, that's all that happens to him. If I had my way, I would lock him up. A few years in prison would give him a good idea of what the victims of sexual assault go through.
I believe that Cardinal Law's behavior is despicable and that the Church's failure to disclose past molestation and abuse is no less than condoning the behavior. Cardinal Law should be forced to resign in order to preserve even a shred of the Church's integrity, and he should be held both civilly and criminally liable for his contemptuous failure to protect the innocence of those children who were entrusted to the Church's care.