Just In Case You Missed 'em!
Billboards First Step to Doing the Right Thing.
To the editor:
I am so pleased to see the billboards stating, "Protect God’s Children, Report Sexual Abuse by Clergy." It is about time someone has the courage to raise this issue in our area. I hope those who have been abused by priests in this area will report that abuse to the police — not to Bishop Peña. Reporting it to a bishop only seems to allow for a cover-up.
If a teacher, maintenance person, minister, or counselor is accused of abusing a child, the police are involved and we read about it in the paper and see it on the news. But priests seem to escape the police, the publicity and the punishment, even though child abuse is a crime.
According to news reports, pedophile priests are just moved to a different parish or diocese, where they continue their practice of abuse. Pedophilia is seldom cured.
It seems that particularly in this culture there is a strong reticence to believe anything negative about a priest, let alone report one to the police. We tend to think, "Father is always right and would never hurt my child." So many children are doubly hurt because they are not believed by their parents when they tell of their abuse. Certainly, we have come to trust these men, but when that trust is betrayed, we must take action. We must, as the signs say, protect our children. To let these incidents go unreported puts other children in jeopardy.
I hope Bishop Peña will do the right thing and make public the names of any priest pedophiles here, so as to validate the experience of all victims and to allow us to continue to protect our children. Those priests have been allowed to continue living among us without a police record, and thus, without us knowing who or where they are.
Noemi Martinez, Edinburg
Bishop at the Center of Church’s Problems.
To the editor:
Sadly, Veronica Ramos (Nov. 2) is correct about the Catholic Church today. Worse, it doesn’t seem to bother the bishop, who busies himself petitioning Rome for "monsignori," an honorary title (literally, "my lord").
The priest destroying my parish (Holy Spirit in McAllen) is one. Of course, not all monsignors are bad or appointed for unquestioned loyalty. One of the new ones is very good. But ironically, he refused this honorary title.
When not appointing vanity titles, what is the church doing for the people? It used to stand shoulder to shoulder with Cesar Chavez and his United Farm Workers (UFW), but now persecutes UFW members who are church employees. Where was the church when La Union del Pueblo Entero, another Chavez group, initiated its fast Friday in opposition to the Minutemen?
You may believe the Minutemen to be patriots, but the only Minuteman I know is a violent racist. I hate to judge the whole movement by this one individual, but until other volunteers emerge from the shadows, I’ll have to go with my gut feeling that it is a racist group. Besides, it is as ineffective to stop illegal immigration by sealing the border as it is fighting drugs by attacking only the supply side. As long as the demand for below market-value labor exists, there is no stopping it. This is yet another issue that could use some moral guidance from the Church, except that it is too busy handing out vanity titles.
Furthermore, when will this diocese come clean on sexual abuse? Have you seen the billboards around the Valley lately?
Guy Hallman, McAllen
Baptism Should Not be Denied for Anyone
To the editor:
In response to the letter from Ana L. Hallman from McAllen, I agree that the Catholic Church has changed so much, and unfortunately, it has not been for the better. I am a Catholic, believe and love the Lord with all my being, but I am upset at all the rules and regulations the Church has started imposing.
My grandson is still not baptized because you have to go to meetings, the godparents have to be married by the Church, you have to be married by the Church, and so on and so on.
How many meetings did John the Baptist have to go to? Besides it being Jesus who baptized him, when did Jesus request that his parents or any one else be married by the Church to get baptized? He baptized many people and never questioned their social status or their standing in any religion, he just baptized them. While I agree that being married in the eyes of the Lord is a good thing, I disagree that a child has to be sacrificed from being baptized because someone else is not married by the Church.
It’s not just that, it’s too many things that have just turned me off. I still consider myself a Christian and God will always be in my heart. I just wish it would be easier to believe in a religion that will do for you as an individual, as opposed to preventing the first sacrament because some one else is married by law only.
I think baptism is very important and should not be denied to anyone.
Maria Martinez, Mercedes
Priest Not Performing Duties at Holy Spirit.
To the editor:
Regarding the letters from Jerry Tennyson and Norma Morales in The Monitor on 10-16:
You both are right in heaping praise on a good and caring priest who leads his parish on a spiritual journey in which everyone is welcome.
Such is not the case at Holy Spirit. I do not believe our priest is "performing his pastoral duties." He is not a "dedicated priest." These are not mere statements, they are based on facts and can be verified by countless parishioners who can never reach him by phone (he hardly ever answers or returns calls), much less meet with him in person. He seldom is at church, he is hard to reach, and that is a fact.
He even delegates his pastoral duty of officiating Mass, as the Church has had to pay countless priests to say Mass because he is never around. There is documentation corroborating this, plus the Holy Spirit community attending Mass is also witness to this.
Ask around, open your eyes and see the truth. Because we are good Catholics, we seek the light of truth and we are tired of the hide-and-seek games. We should not have to chase him down to talk to him. It is obvious something is taking him away from his duties. If he is busy, what is he doing? Where is the accountability? Where is "our shepherd" when we need him?
Let’s wipe the glassy look of "Catholic euphoria and fanaticism" from our eyes and break the chains of "earthly indoctrination," because a "good Catholic" has faith and is mandated to seek the real truth of God.
Leticia Borders, McAllen
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