Church's Crimes Must Be Punished

Boston Globe
January 12, 2003

AUL SHANNON seems to think that by bleating about an inquisition and alluding to a witchhunt that he can turn attention away from the Catholic Church's crimes (''Judging priests in a more just way,'' letter, Jan. 9). Shannon seems to forget that the church knew that these priests had assaulted children and did nothing to stop them.

In any other profession, it would be required to report the abuse to the authorities. Had this been in a public school or day care center, I wonder whether Shannon would be so understanding.

The hierarchy of the church thought it was better to cover up the problem rather than deal with it. Had church officials done the right thing and reported the abuse to the authorities, they could have avoided the problems they are now facing.

Shannon complains that we are judging people by the worst thing they have done in their lives. Perhaps, then, we should hold no one accountable for his crimes, since I am sure other criminals have done nice things in their lives. The children who were sexually assaulted deserve justice, and the priests who are proven guilty should be held accountable. It is not unfair to expect that.

Pamela McCarthy



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