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Clerical abuse in any denomination hurts Christianity as a whole

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Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:11 am, Tue May 1, 2012.

The Lodi News-Sentinel did a good job covering the Michael Kelly sex abuse civil trial. The News-Sentinel journalist had an uneasy task of presenting unbiased reports in an atmosphere of ardent support for the very popular Catholic priest.

Both the News-Sentinel and Stockton Record published letters of tribute to Father Kelly's character and integrity and in support of his "non-liability" or innocence. Quite an outpouring of love and trust.

Unfortunately, not long ago we were reading a similar story of sex abuse by Oliver O'Grady, another local priest convicted of sexually abusing children, which became the subject of the film "Deliver Us from Evil." Adding insult to injury, it was hurtful to then learn that this diocese was complicit by camouflaging and covering up for abusive priests out of its own self-interest — money, power and reputation.

From any perspective these are sorrowful stories and no one escapes unscathed, not even the attorneys. Clerical sexual abuse in any Christian denomination affects the whole of Christianity. It besmirches the Christian effort and it is shameful any time the cause of Christ is belittled. My dear old dad would say, "When crap hits the fan, it sticks to everything and cleanup ain't easy either."

Scripture speaks in reference to children and our obligation to them, and it is valuable reading. Consider for a moment not only the rape of our children by our clergy, but the daily abortion murder of our unborn by their own parents. As we all stand here in this pool of shame covered in guilt, where is our sense of justice? Child abuse crosses every cultural/religious, socio/economic line. It is the offense of offenses. We are all guilty of the good we didn't do, and a millstone is very heavy and the see very deep.

William Van Amber Fields


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Ben Sanacore posted at 8:12 pm on Mon, May 7, 2012.

    Ben Sanacore Posts: 106

    Someone is finally bringing forward the fact that pedophilia is a societal problem.

    Fr. Kelly is not Oliver O'Grady. O'Grady was proven to be a pedophile; served time in prison for it; and is now serving time for possession of child pornography. Fr. Kelly was found liable on allegations and nothing more. He was villified for simply being a Catholic priest. He passed two lie detector tests and not one person, except the plaintiff who stood to gain millions, ever stated in court that he molested them.

    The Catholic Church has owned up to the problems with pedophiles in the church; paid billions in restitution; and developed tough policy and procedures in dealing with pedophile reports. Do you hear of many new pedophile claims? You hear about decades old claims that are difficult to prove. We hear of pedophile claims in the schools on a regular basis.

    Does anyone here deny that unhealthy attitudes toward sexuality; objectifying children sexually in the media; and the proliferation of pornography are greatly contributing to the problem of pedophilia? SNAP and its supporters' efforts are often misdirected. Pedophilia occurs throughout society, yet SNAP and its supporters insist that the Catholic Church is the root of all evil. The case just hasn't been made for making the Catholic Church out to be the Great Satan.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:19 am on Fri, May 4, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Wow - abuse of children compared with union membership?

  • Bruce Reynard posted at 3:13 pm on Wed, May 2, 2012.

    Bruce Reynard Posts: 60

    Great letter to the editor!

    "We are all guilty of the good we didn't do, and a millstone is very heavy and the see very deep."

    I hope you all are able to influence the Church to remove those leaders who actively strove to not do good.

    Freudian slip, or not, the See does have deep pockets... let's hope that they learn that the only honorable way to protect their assets is to stop turning a blind eye to offenders, and start working to remove the problems.

  • Bob Silvano posted at 4:29 pm on Tue, May 1, 2012.

    Bob Silvano Posts: 145

    Misspelling? Most likely. Certainly a great misconception of the intent of Christianity, which is very much like labor unions in that they are self-serving, and reliant upon the generosity and ignorance of others for their survival. No money......no service. Now, would someone please tell me where the concept of service to mankind comes into play here? They both appear to be very much like politics, in that "play for pay" is the only thing that gets results.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 7:29 am on Tue, May 1, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    "We are all guilty of the good we didn't do, and a millstone is very heavy and the see very deep."

    Hmmm.....misspelling or pun?


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