Sunday, February 11, 2007

Readers Forum - Letters

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”?!

Scott Walsh,

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,


Anonymous said...

Well, that's that! Two out of three Monitor writers say the Church and bishop are doing great! So, let's fold up our tent and leave!

Gerard Vaello said...

Re: Is CTA truly Catholic?

It would be interesting to have Scott Walsh tell us exactly what steps the Catholic Church took to remedy their "pedophilia” problem.

Lets see:

· They didn't report any of these criminal offenses to local law enforcement.

· They made every possible attempt to cover up these hideous crimes.

· They made no attempt to insure the treatment and well being of their victims.

· They transferred their sexual predators to other locations with no notification to the new communities.

· They did not add any of these sexual predators to the National Sex Offender Lists, so their whereabouts could be monitored.

· And, to this day, they continue to hide the identities of all of their sexual predators.

Yes Scott, no institution has ever gone as far as the Catholic Church to weed out their sexual predators.

Did you have super-glue on you eyelids during this scandal or is this just a case of being severely blinded by your faith?
Gerard Vaello

Ben Salinas said...

Will be submitted to the Monitor soon

To the editor,
I’ll start out by saying that I am one of “the Valley’s so-called concerned Catholics”, which Charles S. Zaremba alluded to in his letter (“Bishop Peña does a fine job,” February 11). However, as a “so-called concerned Catholic,” it might not surprise him that I am concerned about his letter. He mentioned that it was Bishop Peña’s responsibility “for making sure we are aware of what being Catholic is all about.”

I have had personal interaction with Bishop Peña. My father worked directly under him when he first came to the Valley. I have seen his representatives, Catholic Priests, and the way they work. And from all these interactions, I have learned a great deal about being a “Catholic.” I’ll go over a few of the lessons I have learned, to help those readers who might not be as familiar with the material at hand.

1) A “Catholic” should rule with an iron fist and not be open to the beliefs of others. This is of course why Catholics talk about “loving their neighbor, but only if their neighbor has all the same beliefs”.

2) A “Catholic” should lie.

3) A “Catholic” should assist Valley Priests in fleeing the country if they are accused of sexual abuse.

4) A “Catholic” should dip his hands into the church’s coffers.

5) A “Catholic” should support the derailment of a church that a Bishop called “a perfect example of a Vatican II parish” just months before.

The list goes on and on. We are told that it is Bishop Peña’s job to help us understand what being a Catholic is all about, but frankly I don’t see him exercising what he preaches.

I would agree with Mr. Zaremba when he says that “being Catholic is difficult.” It is difficult to understand the hypocrisy that I see daily in the Church.

I grew up at my church. Many of my mentors are members of our parish. My sister started walking in the church office. I spent my childhood volunteering for the church. I thought the Catholic Church was about integrity. I thought it was about reconciliation. I thought it was about acceptance, justice, and service. I guess I am one of “those wishy-washy Catholics that truly need to learn what their church is about.”

Ben Salinas
McAllen, TX

Anonymous said...

Re: Ann Cass letter
Any bets on if Monsignor Nicolau will address any of the questions presented by Ann Cass?

Kay Goodnow said...

I learned what the church is about, and I am no longer a member, wishy-washy or not. I am just me. I like it this way.

Either the leaders in this church do not understand the message brought by Christ, or they have chosen to ignore it. Way back in 1978, I excommunicated all of them from me.

There are good people in the church, but there are bad leaders.
And Msgr. Nicolau will ignore Ann Cass' questions...

Anonymous said...

It seems Charles Zaremba has the same problem as Scott Walsh. He either has had super-glue on his eyelids or also has a severe case of blind faith.
Where was he when our Bishop took it upon himself to be judge and jury on all of the sexual predator cases in the dioceses? Or, when he so unjustly FIRED the employees at Holy Spirit. Or, when he fought tooth and nail to deny his employees from being allowed union representation? Or, when he set up that joke of a tribunal just to weasel out of the union contracts.
This is not about understanding and following Church doctrine, it is about questioning the LEADERSHIP of our Church when they are WRONG, when they themselves are going AGAINST their very own church’s teachings.
Church doctrine is unquestionable; it's our Church LEADERSHIP that stinks! It’s not just here in the Valley. It’s all over! Our church is in trouble because of its leadership! They too are too blind to see! Heaven help us!