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Commend our priests

January 18, 2014

To the editor: I certainly don’t condone the actions of a few priests in the past for abuses claimed. I do wish to commend the very hard working priests who are dedicated to their chosen profession....

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Jan-18-14 9:09 AM

Like most professions there are people that are good and bad in performing their duties. Child sexual abuse is way out of bounds. 400 priests were just defrocked...slightly more than a "few" as the author states. Perhaps we should also be praying for the victims as well?

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Jan-18-14 1:23 PM

Where did you learn that a priest can forgive you of your sins? Only by the blood of Jesus are your sins forgiven.

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Jan-18-14 3:40 PM

I recently learned that a priest from my twin cities' parish was among those named. He was well loved by many. When someone leads a double life, and you find out, it makes you wonder about who else is/has been fooling you.

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Jan-18-14 4:59 PM

If the Catholic Church continues in its ways they will be non-existant in 100 years and irrelevant in less than 50. The entire church needs to be radically reexamined, torn apart and put back together so none of the current excesses are tolerated in any way, by anyone, anymore.

They might start with the requirement that all priests and nuns be married. That would shake the place up and clean out a few cobwebs.

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Jan-18-14 5:20 PM

I don't know about requiring it, Sven, but I would certainly allow it. Expecting someone to live a life of chastity is incredibly unreasonable. Yes, some can do it, but it leads to too many problems like this. And before someone goes saying that pedophilia and chastity have not correlation, I remind you that many men in prison never identified as being homosexual, either.

Sex is part of a normal adult's life. Allowing that between the bonds of a married man and woman should be accepted by the Catholic church for it's priests and nuns.

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Jan-18-14 10:27 PM

I'm not sure the Catholic Church understands how serious the problem is, or the long-term consequences. In almost all organizations there is inertia to continue doing what has been done before and to do what is "acceptable".

Those in today's Catholic hierarchy got there through certain kinds of behavior and accomplishment. They won't turn it over to someone not like themselves without bitter, revolutionary, infighting.

Think about our own country and the price paid for emancipation, prohibition, civil rights, womans' rights, or even something as simple as immigration reform.

All the above where/are relatively simple problems compared to what the Catholic Church has before it--well, maybe not emancipation, but you get the point.

What I can't figure out is why anyone would walk into a Catholic Church today with their family. Why would you ever subject the ones you love most to even the possibility of such reprehensible behavior?

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Jan-19-14 5:24 PM

As I have often said before, I struggle with this every day. In regards to what the author wrote, I know there are numerous wonderful & good Catholic clergy, & I do commend them. However, to say there are only a few who are guilty of molestation of children is just not true. The numbers are many, widespread and worldwide. In the U.S. alone, I believe the numbers are close to 7000. That is incomprehensible.

I understand what sven is saying, but I do still walk into my church & still practice my faith. My faith is strong but has been tested to the max. Do I fail this test of faith by walking away or do I persevere & pass this test of faith by staying. I am choosing to do the latter for now because I love my faith.

As for MCW's statement in regards to marriage/sexual bonds for priests & nuns, I agree. I, also, agree about his statement about men in prison (women, also). cont......

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Jan-19-14 5:44 PM

cont.... I do not, however, agree with the pedophilia/chastity correlation. Pedophilia is an evil sickness. Those guilty of it "choose" to prey on innocent children. Pedophiles have ample chance to have sexual relations with other adults. That holds true for the Catholic clergy guilty of this heinous crime. They do not seek other adults. They seek & prey on children. That cannot be compared to not being allowed to get married or being expected to live a life of chastity. It doesn't even come close.

You must all think I'm crazy. When I look at what I write on this subject, I often think I'm crazy, also. I, too, ask myself, "Why do I stay"? I have believed & practiced my Catholic faith all of my life. There are so many good & beautiful things about it, & I have a hard time letting go. But, again, it has, also, been a monumental struggle each day because of all of this. So, if you have a little time, I am in need of a few prayers, too

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Jan-19-14 5:59 PM

got cut off...... in need of a few prayers, too. :) :) God bless.

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Jan-19-14 11:11 PM

GrandmaD: Prayers to you.

Seems to me there is another alternative. You're committed to the Catholic Church. So, start changing it from within. Ask brutal questions, form action groups, write letters.

They won't change until you make them change.

What I don't understand is why masses of Catholic faithful have not left the church and formed their own churches--The New Reformed Catholic Church, if you will. A number of Episcopalians have done that on the West coast, and the Lutheran church has multiple synods based on varying beliefs.

In the end, they need your money. Don't give it to them.

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Jan-20-14 12:50 AM

GrandmaD, I don't know how there cannot be a correlation between pedophilia and chastity in the Catholic church. You don't see this happening in ANY other Christian sect other than Catholicism in these numbers. Yes, it is a very evil sickness.

Of course, it doesn't mean that every priest that practices a life of chastity will be tempted to prey on children, but it very well could mean that those who would otherwise have self-control and would never otherwise even have the thought cross their mind could fall into temptation.

Regardless, there really is no good reason why the Catholic church does not allow priests to marry.

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Jan-20-14 9:52 AM

MCW, there is no correlation. Many pedophiles are married - so by your logic they should never molest children but yet they do. Their crime is more of one of power and control and not simply gratification.

Grandma, I believe our faith sometimes calls us into action. This is one of those cases. You can love the church such as I do and also demand change. God speaks to our hearts and we need to make our church stronger and better for all by demanding this change. Our church needs strong leadership and we need women and men to fill these roles. Their marital status should play no part in being appointed to serve the church.

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Jan-20-14 6:10 PM

Jreader ... I did not mean to disagree with you...I agree, just hit the wrong word.

As far as other faith groups not having this problem, I believe you are wrong. Mainstream and fringe sects have had such issues. So have scouts, teachers, coaches, etc. Evil people can be found everywhere. What makes this a huge black eye for the church is the years of cover-ups and tolerance of the sick behavior. Shame on the church of my youth.

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Jan-20-14 7:55 PM

First of all, if you think abuse is more common in the Catholic church, you haven't done your research. Sexual abuse is the most commonly committed crime, and that is based only on the actual reports made. There are a lot of victims that have been silenced and haven't told their story. Sexual abuse is not based on career, religion, status, etc. You cannot lump a group of people into being sexual abusers. IT IS AN INDIVIDUAL ILLNESS!! My abuser was married, and most of the abusers described in my support groups were also married. My counselor has counseled many sexual abuse victims, some victimized by Lutheran ministers, Buddhist leaders, Catholic priests, Methodist ministers, etc. To say it is a Catholic issue is to be extremely naive!! My abuser is a great-grandpa, was a teacher & a school bus driver and an auto mechanic. Does that mean that all parents, teachers, school bus drivers and auto mechanics are sexual abusers. NO! IT IS AN INDIVIDUAL ILLNESS! DON'T BE NAIV

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Jan-20-14 11:31 PM

If it was more common in other churches, we would be hearing about it. I don't buy that for a minute.

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Jan-21-14 10:05 PM

Victim: I think you make some very good points, uncomfortable as they may be.

You make it clear that there are a significant number of pedophiles that are married, and I believe you are right. One Jerry Sandusky comes to mind, whose wife was sure of his innocence.

Yet, msotn is also right. The shear number of cases from the Catholic Church, and their constant denial of the problem, still makes them the most suspect and in need of drastic counter-measures.

In our church we have an unbreakable rule: TWO adults present at ALL youth activities, no matter what--preferable one male and one female, NOT from the same family.

So far, so good.

Hard to believe we are even having this discussion. damage done.

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Jan-22-14 11:22 AM


Most people just disagree with me because it's me making the post. They lack the courage of their convictions to post why they might disagree. So, don't worry about it I'm used to it and I pay much more attention to what people have to say rather than if they agree or not by simply clicking. This has been a very interesting discussion and I appreciate what everyone has had to say. I realize it is quite sensitive to many people because it involves such extremes in our society - the horror of sexual abuse and the peace and resolve of our faiths. Hopefully all of us who choose to participate in this discussion can come away with a better understanding.

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Jan-22-14 12:23 PM

JR: Know what you mean. Four "agrees" below on my post in spite of the fact that "they" know it's me. It truly is a crazy mixed up...

As proof, I think I'll take up ice fishing. You do take your wife along don't you?

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Jan-24-14 2:58 PM

I just read through all of the interesting & understandable comments. Actually, according to the National Catholic Reporter, the Catholic Church has lost 1/3 of its American members. The fast growing Hispanic population, however, rapidly builds that loss back up.

The abuse scandal is part of why many members have left, along with the stance on divorce & remarriage, homosexuality, women's rights & abortion, & the inability to reach its parishioners through uninspiring homilies & teachings, to name some.

I still strongly disagree that pedophilia & not allowing marriage & sex are correlated. The guilty had ample access to other adults but chose to prey on children. Why don't they just seek out other adults? People try to link homosexuality to pedophilia, also, but I disagree with that, too. A pedophile is a pedophile, & they purposely seek out & prey on children. cont....

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Jan-24-14 3:30 PM

cont....I read & researched a lot on this, & as Victim & frmrnres stated, most all of what I have read says it is not just a major issue in the Catholic Church but in other churches & professions, as well. Protestant & Jewish congregations were mentioned often.

As mnsotn stated, why are we not hearing about it then? Why are we just hearing about the Catholic Church? I truly question that, also. Perhaps, as frmrnures said, not only were these heinous, ugly crimes committed against children, the cover ups & moving the accused around (one heinous & horrible crime on top of another) doubly persecuted & victimized the most innocent. That is why we are hearing about it & rightfully so.

Thanks for the prayers, sven. I have written letters till I'm blue in the face, & much is being done to change things. The inconceivable damage & destruction of the innocent victims, however, cannot be undone. They will relive their horrible nightmares fo

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Jan-24-14 3:36 PM

got cut off....relive their horrible nightmares forever.

P.S. - MCW, I always respect your opinion, but I really, truly do disagree with the forced celibacy & pedophilia correlation. I am not trying to undermine how you feel in any way & just wanted you to know that.

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Jan-24-14 6:37 PM

I want to apologize for how I worded the first post. It was not my intent to imply that our Hispanic population are not Americans. That should not have even been stated, & I am sorry. I have many wonderful Hispanic friends & I am sorry, once again. Our growing Hispanic population is keeping the Catholic numbers high. That is how I wanted to & should have stated that.

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Jan-24-14 7:29 PM

Well then it must be a huge coincidence that all these priests are preying on young boys. Either way, it isn't healthy to expect all priests to remain unmarried and thereby celebate for the rest of their lives. I know of nothing Biblical that commands this. Also, why are their victims so often little boys? There must be some answers out there as to why this happens so much more often in Catholic churches and with boys. Not that it matters whether it is a boy or a girl, it is equally disgusting.

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Jan-25-14 2:57 PM

Once, again, I do agree with you that priests should be able to marry, & I agree that it is not healthy to expect them not to marry or remain celibate.

You asked why the guilty priests' victims are so often little boys. As sick as it sounds, they had ample access to little boys who were altar boys. Perhaps that is why they became priests because they knew they would have access to little boys.

I ask, "Why didn't they just go out & have a fling with an adult because did they not have ample opportunities to do that, also?"

Anyway, we both do agree that it is sick & devastating, & it doesn't seem to be going away. Children are victims of adults in all professions.

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Jan-25-14 8:03 PM

Read that the church has a secret fund to pay off the accused priests and pay out money to the victims to keep it hush hush. Glad I'm not Catholic seems they are a bunch of evil pedophiles. Makes you wonder if the money you give to the church is going to this secret fund.

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