Re “Responding to Sexual Abuse Will Take Years, and It Should” (Our Take, 12/11): I agree that the Catholic Church’s handling of its sex abuse scandal offers powerful lessons to other institutions whose members have committed sex crimes. Sadly, these are, for the most part, lessons about how not to respond. The church could learn much from how some corporations are dealing with employees who have been credibly accused of abuse. Corporations, for example, seem much more willing than the church to expel abusers. How many pedophile priests have been excommunicated? Church leaders’ failure to expel abusers has resulted in the church not being a safe space for victims, which, in turn, has led many victims and those who stand in solidarity with them to leave the church. I pray that someday the church will adopt a real zero-tolerance policy.
Ought to Do
Re “Four Women and an Observation,” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things, 12/11): When I think about it, the women I have most admired displayed their devotion to duty and service rather than what they personally might want at any given moment. It is almost as if they have a conversation in their heads, asking themselves: “What is it I want to do? And what is it I ought to do?” And when they do what they ought to do, the rest of us benefit.
Monica Quigley Doyle
Racism Is a Sin
Re “The Sickness of the American Soul,” by the Rev. Bryan N. Massingale (12/11): I heard Father Massingale speak at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress this year. He said, “Racism is a sin.” It was good to hear someone say this aloud. We are afraid to use the word sin anymore. I would love to have more conversations like this in the church because it is there that the sin can begin to be healed.
Re “Are U.S. Bishops Restoring the Seamless Garment?” by Michael J. O’Loughlin (12/11): Although we should choose candidates for elected office by carefully considering a wide range of life issues, I do believe that protecting the innocent unborn should be of paramount importance. To me, this means not voting for any candidates who favor legal abortion. If a candidate is pro-life and reasonable on other issues as well, I think we are obliged to vote for that candidate. If such a “reasonable” pro-life candidate cannot be found, it may be necessary to abstain from voting for a candidate for that particular office.
Re “Wisdom From Father G,” by Kerry Weber (12/11): I have always loved the ministry of Greg Boyle, S.J. And what a magnificent truth for all of us to know and remember: “God is too busy loving you to have any time left over to be disappointed.”
Re “Trial of Former Salvadoran Colonel Could Bring New Details of 1989 Jesuit Massacre,” by Melissa Vida (12/11): Some Americans wonder why people are leaving their homes in Central America and emigrating to the United States. Perhaps we could save a lot of money and trouble for everyone if instead of paying for a wall we just stopped spending our hard-earned tax dollars to arm, feed, clothe and house foreign gangsters.
Good in Theory
A problem with the “seamless garment” philosophy is it assumes there is only one solution to a given issue. No one is for nuclear war, but there are many legitimate methods to prevent it. The same is true of most other issues. “Tax the rich to feed the poor” sounds great in theory, for example, until the economy falters and even more people are forced to go without basic goods. Universal health care seems to be a life-affirming solution, until you consider whether a nationalized health care system would lead to declining quality of care for everyone.