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November 26, 2018

In your November 16th issue, Greg Erlandson wrote that the current sex abuse scandal is made worse because ‘heads haven’t rolled.’ That is, there should be much more punishment meted out for anyone even remotely involved in cases of sex abuse in the church, including not only the priests who were found guilty, but any other churchman involved with the perpetrator before or after his sin/crime should have been somehow punished by the church authorities, apparently without regard to their level of guilt. 

What flashed through my mind was “the eighth commandment.” When I looked it up, the eighth commandment forbids “bearing false witness.” According to the Catholic Catechism, this commandment includes avoiding ‘calumny,’ or ‘destroying the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor.’ (2479, “Catechism of the Catholic Church.”) 

In other words, we are to be very careful when imputing sin to another person. If we are too eager to relay our suspicions or even our convictions about another’s morality, we may commit sin ourselves in trying to force the presumed sinner to judgment. 

So, Erlandson is recommending that more Catholics should be turning in presumed sinners, which is forbidden by the Catechism.

- Connie

November 16, 2018

The article by John L. Allen Jr. about the Synod’s delicate document is so disturbing that I feel obligated to respond. 

First of all, the bishops decided to change the response to the sexual abuse on the Church for years from “zero tolerance” to “rigorous prevention measures” because it meant different things to different people. Really! What is confusing about the word intolerance?

The most disturbing was a quote attributed to Pope Francis saying the Church as “mother” is under attack from the “great accuser.” “At this moment the devil is accusing very strongly and the accusation becomes persecution.” 

Truly — is it the devil who is exposing what’s been going on in the church under Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II whom he immediately canonized — or is it possibly the Holy Spirit bringing to divine light the need for acknowledging our sins, repentance, humility, gratitude for Christ’s saving grace? 

The Catholic Church has survived scandals before. If it faces the truth of its sins and repents with grateful humility and truth, it can survive again.

- Catherine M. Algiers

October 9, 2018

Re: Ruben Navarrette's piece on diversity. What came across loud and clear is his dislike for conservatives, not just Tucker Carlson. Is he going to do a piece on Rachel Maddow and her liberal party's support for abortion? Doesn't that limit diversity? It is mostly minorities who have abortions. Didn't Keith Ellison the chairman of the Democratic National Committee say if you don't support abortion you're not welcome in the party?

- Michael Dixon

October 4, 2018

Industry Hills Charity Hill Pro Rodeo: I am attacking Angelus because of their support of this venue. In a sentence in this article, King stated, “I averted my eyes as a bewildered brown and white calf was chased on horseback, hurled to the ground and wrestled by a giant woman.” Check YouTube videos of calf-roping and see how horrible it is. Other animal abuses have stopped such as the circus, Shamu and abuse at animal farms. This venue supposedly gives out money, but as with other charities, one has to be careful. I think the Church should tell this rodeo, which is going to take place again shortly, that it should get rid of the baby calf-roping unless they don’t give a darn about the pain to these animals. 

- Jackie Mahoney

September 16, 2018

I am a subscriber to Angelus and appreciate the information you are providing about the going-ons in the LA Archdiocese.  

In your September 7 issue, however, you have an article regarding the murder of Mollie Tibbets and you fail to include one very important fact: that the alleged murderer was an undocumented immigrant. By hiding this very important fact you are not reporting facts, indeed you are editorializing.

I, and probably most of U.S. Catholics, are tired of the Church sweeping undesirable info under the proverbial rug, as happened with the sexual abuse issue.   

If you want to write an editorial, please mark it so clearly.

Otherwise, you have a responsibility to report ALL the news, unless you too choose to become irrelevant.

— Andrew Kozlowski

September 8, 2018

Every week I look forward to Fr. Rolheiser's column. After reading “How to Respond,” I find myself in disagreement. Father suggests that we should look to Mary at the cross to seek how we should respond to the current revelations of clergy sexual abuse.

The Blessed Mother is always the one I go to in times of trouble and uncertainty. Always she does one thing. She points to her son. Every question is always answered by pointing us to Christ.

Fr. Rolheiser says that Christ assumes our guilt so that no one looking at the three crosses on Calvary can perceive the non-guilty. All are rendered the same.

Thanks to Mary we can actually see that difference, hear that difference. Nailed to the cross, abandoned by his companions, the just ordained first bishops of the Church.

Scourged and beaten and finally crucified by the Romans, Christ gives us the only example of what we should do after we put our “mouth to the dust.” Christ forgives the Romans, forgives the Apostles, and forgives us.

In all the years we have been dealing with this scandal, we have tried many approaches. First, the second great shame, we lied and covered up. Second, we paid huge ransoms — we tried to buy back our good name with money.

Now, with the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” we wail in anger, shame, and revenge. We revile and deeply desire the hardest and most severe punishment of the perpetrators. Across this great divide we await vindication and the soothing words, “You are not to blame.”

Who are we trying to comfort, the victims or ourselves? We do not like to feel the shame that accompanies these revelations and we want it to go away.

It is natural to harbor and even nurture anger and hatred against those who hurt us and those we love. However, anger and hatred are a cancer to our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

No amount of money or sincere apologies will repair the harm done to these innocent victims.  Only one thing will begin that healing. Follow Mary's hand pointing to her son. Hear his words, “Father, forgive them,” and do the same.

— Michele Lecrivain

September 4, 2018

I just read your digital email and coverage for today, and I want to thank you for your coverage and articles. You bring back the loving arms of God to enfold us the caring embrace of Jesus the Good Shepherd to guide us and the inspiration and grace of the Holy Spirit. You bring silence and the spirit back to our faith. You are a faithful digital minister of the Church of Jesus Christ, and you deserve thanks for spreading this message.

— Karen Kubulak

August 16, 2018

A letter to a priest:

Women marched for their rights in 2017; teens marched for their lives in 2018; 250,000 people marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 against the injustice and inequalities shown to African-Americans. Even the Ku Klux Klan marched, as though heroes, in 1925, simply to make their presence known.  

And I think it is about time that priests march to protest the sex abuse scandals inside the walls of the Church they have pledged their lives to. It is time that priests take to the streets around their dioceses’ Cathedral, to get their Bishop’s attention, it is time they use their voices to break through and demolish the walls of silence that screen the deception that protects abusers, men who hide inside the safety and comfort of the Church, men who wear white collars like tricksters and hide their evil deeds. Because if you are not against them…you are with them.

I ask, what is keeping the “good priest” from speaking out daily against his degenerate brothers, priests who are destroying the foundation of our modern day Church, priest who are making the “good” priest’s life increasingly difficult to navigate in a mostly secular world? And I ask: What would Jesus say? Yes, the Son of God who said: ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.’

Those same children who have been used for sexual pleasure at the hands of the clergy Jesus once ordained to represent him, no doubt, gave up on the Kingdom of God a long time ago. 

So this is a call to the “good” priest from a woman who was sexually abused as a child and barely survived: Stop living in your glass houses and do something to protect innocent lives from the dirty legacy of sexual abuse in The Church. 

It could be the most import thing you have ever done with your vocation.

— Evelyn Augusto

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