Sunday, February 11, 2007
Column needs more facts
To the editor:
I found Fr. Nicolau’s article on pedophiles very interesting. Some of his information is correct, although it is lacking. He needs to talk about the high recidivism rate, particularly among perpetrators who are gay. And, there is a difference between the perpetrators receiving therapy and getting treatment. They need treatment.
He sizes up the consequences of the ‘immoral’ and ‘illegal” behavior, but doesn’t talk enough about the impact on those who are abused.
It is even more interesting that he did not talk at all about the problem of clergy who are pedophiles. With his knowledge, he needs to persuade Bishop Peña to do as the Bishop of Ft. Worth recently did: Release the names of the priests who have left active ministry after evidence indicated that they indeed are pedophiles. Without releasing the names, we cannot protect our children. These perpetrators live in our neighborhoods, teach in our schools, and counsel people. They have no criminal record. They have not gone to prison for their crimes.
I would also like to have Fr. Nicolau discuss another problem in our churches that is also immoral and illegal: Sexual exploitation and sexual harassment by clergy to other adults.
Ann Williams Cass,
Is CTA truly Catholic?
To the editor:
I love Guy Hallman’s weekly column!
I investigated Call to Action (CTA). Among other things, I read the text of speeches from their conferences. They are not faithful Catholics according to the Vatican (Hallman’s interpretation is flat misleading), and some of what I read does not pass any Christian denominational standard.
Ray Thomas questioned why CTA is constantly quoted in your paper, which hurts the credibility of your stories. Imagine a story on Catholic belief in sacraments, and quoting atheists! The Monitor is to investigative reporting like Dr. Seuss books are to theology~
The story about PBS programming raised valid questions. However, did the program accurately and fairly depict the scandal? Did it balance the scandal with the steps taken by the church to remedy the situation? Or was the program another attack job? The Monitor addressed none of those questions, and CTA’s interest certainly made me believe the latter. Case in point: Hallman says the scandal was a pedophilia problem, when in fact most cases involved teenage victims and only a minute percentage involved pedophilia. Hallman chose pedophilia because it sounded sensational, and like a self-righteous Pharisee he then attacked Mr. Thomas with his vicious misstatement. How ironic that a truthful Thomas is attacked by a leader of St. Doubting Thomas Church!
CTA hides behind a crusade that no one argues with — the sex abuse scandal. But no institution has gone so far as the Catholic Church to weed out the predators.
We should poll CTA nationally to see how many of them have been to confession lately. Oh, wait a minute. If I’m not mistaken, CTA doesn’t believe in sacramental confession because it requires resort to the male-dominated power structure that faithful Catholics call the “priesthood”?!
Bishop Peña does a fine job
To the editor
The constant bishop bashing going on by the Valley’s so-called concerned Catholics irritates me. I especially take issue with the letter written by Pio Silvano in the Feb. 7 issue of The Monitor. It seems this individual and the many other critics think being a Catholic strictly relies on every word and action that Bishop Peña takes.
Bishop Pena is a representative of the Pope and is responsible for making sure we are aware of what being Catholic is all about. As Catholics, we are bound by our choice to truly understand all Church doctrine and carry them out without question. The main reason why so many Catholics are leaving the Church is not because of Bishop Peña, but the lack of will and good sense to truly abide by the directions sent to us through Jesus and his representatives on earth. For many of these so called Pentecostals and other breakaway religions, making religion a once-a-week happening is much easier than to truly live the life Jesus wants us to live. Being Catholic is difficult. It involves doing things that are contrary to the so-called norm. Instead of standing up for true Catholic doctrine, many choose to rationalize and try to mold it to their way of thinking. There is nothing wrong with how Bishop Peña is running the Diocese of Brownsville. The fault lies in all those wishy-washy Catholics that truly need to learn what their church is about.
Charles S. Zaremba,