Letter to the Editor
To the editor:
After reading a St. Louis Archdiocese publication, I felt compelled to write.
I have so much sadness and shame over the abuses for many decades in the Catholic Church. I feel compelled to express my feelings about this, having been a practicing Catholic all my life. How can this be?
How can an ordained priest whose sole job is his vocation go against the teachings of the church and the Bible? Such heinous crimes have been committed, and worst of all are those who knew and did nothing to protect the abused children. What would Jesus say?
These victims carry a lifelong sentence. People they trusted and people in power who only thought of themselves and those that knew have preyed upon these vulnerable children. We have a church that accepts these evil deeds. They have allowed this behavior to occur over and over. What would Jesus say?
If a lay teacher or coach would be accused of these terrible atrocities, he would be arrested, investigated, charged if guilty and go to jail. A man who wears a Roman collar in the Catholic Church is just reassigned and repeats the actions of sinning again.
The Catholic Church clearly does not have the mindset that this atrocious behavior is a crime. They have chosen to hide this shame at the high cost of human beings who may never recover from this abuse. What would Jesus say?
A convicted pedophile receives the dire reality mandated of a sentence in prison, which varies from state to state. Their sentence can be as long as 20 years perhaps.
When released from prison, they have to register as a sex offender and see a probation officer, maybe undergo counseling and in some civil cases, offenders are directed to pay restitution to victim or victims. Pedophiles are predators. Why would an institution want to shield these pedophiles? What would Jesus say?
The Catholic Church can take a stand right now. Those priests who have been accused should go through exactly what a lay person would have to do if accused.
Those priests, bishops or cardinals and any hierarchy who were part of the cover-up should be defrocked. There are many abusers who have passed away, since this has gone on for decades. They have already received their punishment. The church must keep these pedophiles away so they do no more harm.
What would Jesus say? I know he would tell us to forgive. I feel certain he would say the abusers cannot represent the Catholic Church.
Kathleen McDonough Luepke