A Church in Crisis: Sunlight Needed
Letters to the Editor

New York Times
January 15, 2003

To the Editor:
"Trail of Pain in Church Crisis Leads to Nearly Every Diocese" (front page, Jan. 12) underscores the endemic nature of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

We must ask hard questions about the clerical culture, about limits to priestly obedience to bishops, and about how Catholics should hold compromised bishops accountable. These questions were once considered illegitimate.

Today, we know that the failure to ask and answer them will only perpetuate the church's moral crisis. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Catholics face a tough battle with bishops who oppose lay reforms. Voice of the Faithful, of which I am president, is pressing for dialogue and disclosure, for a strong lay voice within the church, and for monitoring of bishops' behavior.

As your article shows, this must be done parish by parish, diocese by diocese, and state by state. There is no alternative.  
Newton, Mass., Jan. 15, 2003


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.