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Letters to the editor: Readers respond to the grand jury report

September 16, 2018

Bishop David Zubik speaks during a press conference at the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Downtown on Aug. 14, 2018.

In response to the article “Fight brewing over child sex abuse reform in Harrisburg” (Aug. 17, TribLIVE), and all the articles written in the wake of the release of the grand jury report on child sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, I have this to say: It is a sad day when men of the cloth seem to be more concerned about the judgment of men than the judgment of God. Lifting the statute of limitations on childhood civil and criminal abuse claims would help victims in search of justice and find some affirmation of and retribution for their years of suffering. And church officials would be given an opportunity to prove that they do care about their parishioners and do believe in God and the last judgment.

Susan Wilson

Greensburg

Bishop Lawrence Brandt has the audacity to have his name redacted from the grand jury report while he lives in his palatial retirement home paid for by parishioners like me. I call for the current leader, Bishop Edward Malesic, to pull the “purse strings” to “encourage” Brandt’s full transparency.

Brandt honored Bishop William Connare by naming a conference center after him when Brandt had full access to the archives and files of pedophile priests and Connare’s complicity in the cover-up.

So you want my millennial-age adult children to be active in the Roman Catholic Church again? What exactly do I tell them? And let’s not even go into teachings/doctrines not in alignment with the rest of the Christian churches.

Do I call for the boycott of Mass and offerings?

Quite the contrary; that is not how to respond to a church and faith one loves even with failed leadership.

We are not helpless and this did not happen “a long time ago in a far away galaxy.”

You can make your pastor aware of your concerns, whether or not he responds to your calls or emails. You can email/call the bishop’s office in Greensburg.

You can alert your pastoral council and lay leaders within your parish.

You can attend Mass as a witness for Christ as opposed to the poor Christian and Catholic witness of Brandt.

Jim Disantis

Freeport

I am saddened by the current scandal facing the Catholic Church. It does not shake my faith. I recognize the courage of those who came forward in order to begin healing. They have stepped forward to share their truth so that others know they are not alone. We are all recovering from some type of mistake, loss, betrayal, abuse, misfortune or injustice in our lives. As Catholics, we must find ways to accept and move through this pain.

As a product of 16 years of Catholic schools, I have been blessed with many wonderful priests in my life who were pillars of goodness, kindness, selflessness and trust. They have educated, counseled, celebrated births, and offered peace, comfort and strength in the dark hours of death. Their homilies have energized us and humbled us.

There are so many wonderful priests in the Diocese of Greensburg who have given their lives to us and to God. You have my support, prayers and unyielding commitment to God, to my church and to my Catholic faith. You are not alone. You can count on the constant company of the Lord, and the love and support of your many parishioners who see and appreciate all of the good that you do.

Maureen Cutrell

Hempfield

I noticed that you omitted a few statements from your recap of all the clergy with credible evidence of child molestation, rape and preponderant horrific behavior. After the names of the monsters who are still alive, you forgot to add “presently being prosecuted and/or in prison for life.” Probably just an oversight by the church.

Next to those vile pedophiles who are deceased, you left out “presently spending eternity in hell.”

The whole church hierarchy has known extensively about this travesty of justice, and the cover-up, for 60 or more years, with little or no prosecution of anyone. Not sure why anyone would ever trust the disgusting vat of slime that is the Catholic Church ever again. The devil called and said he is starting an addition.

Richard Fondrk

Hempfield

The grand jury report on the priest abuse only told half the story. The other half involves the guilt of the justice system, and it is as guilty as sin.

For decades some priests abused children. When the priests were caught, the bishops colluded with lawyers and used the legal system to bypass the justice system and permit their criminal activity to continue. Lawyers and the victims settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars. For lawyers and the justice system, it wasn’t about justice; it was “show me the money” and the hell with the sins of the priests.

Newspapers have printed some of the priests’ names and their actions. But how often do we see people accused of having sexual pictures of children being abused who are jailed and waiting for trials? Yet for decades lawyers and bishops were able to circumvent the justice system to allow actual abuse of children.

Finally, what about the abuse by the bishops and lawyers of millions of Catholics who donated the funds that were used to pay off the victims and their lawyers?

Bishops should be truly honest with parishioners and give us the dates, settlement amounts and names of lawyers who raped the church’s treasury for decades. Also, it would be of interest to know how many times the bishops went to court to safeguard against someone falsely claiming priest abuse.

Let’s put the lawyers on the same level as the priests. For the first abuse, blame the priest; for child abuse following a settlement, the priests and lawyers must share the sin and the guilt.

Dan Reeping

Leet

Isn’t it logical that Bishop David Zubik and Cardinal Donald Wuerl should be held to the same standards as we held Joe Paterno,Gary Schultz and Graham Spanier? Why not? I am a relative of a survivor.

Gretchen McKelvey

Allegheny Township

Church sex abuse victims carry the crime of men who are sinners. How dare you do that? You must be held accountable. Birds of a feather flock together. Enough said.

P. Acrie

Greensburg

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