Catholic Church is due for constructive criticism

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Donatella Giagnori/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9299453d) Cardinals attend the funeral ceremony for Cardinal Bernard Francis Law in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, 21 December 2017. Cardinal Bernard Law died at the age of 86 in Rome, Italy. Law was an influential figure in the US Catholic church, but fell from grace after a 2002 media report revealed that Law shuffled priest accused of sexual abuse from parish to parish for years without alerting law enforcement authorities or the families of the abused. The fallout resulted in Law's eventual resignation. Funeral service for cardinal Bernard Francis Law, Vatican City, Vatican City State (Holy See) - 21 Dec 2017
Donatella Giagnor/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock/File
Cardinals attended the funeral ceremony for Cardinal Bernard Law in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome on Dec. 21, 2017.

Pushback seems more concerned with ‘Catholic bashing’ than sins of church

Re “The place of the priesthood” (Letters, Jan. 14): In response to Garry Wills’s Jan. 4 op-ed, “Celibacy isn’t the problem; the priesthood is,” C. J. Doyle complains, “We have heard it all before,” and Carol Walsh writes, “Catholic bashing never stops in the Globe.”

Nor should it. I would think that Doyle, as a self-proclaimed official in the Catholic church, would be sick enough of “Catholic bashing” that his focus would be on stopping it by pushing to stop child abuse in the church.

As a lapsed Catholic who graduated from a Catholic school, taught CCD, and was married in the church, and whose father was a deacon and whose mother was the housekeeper for her parish’s priest, I contend that shame would be a more acceptable response than complaining about entirely warranted criticism.


Walsh writes about “sanctification . . . through the ordained priest acting in the stead of Christ.” Who is sanctified when they make pets of young boys, when they have a private club, and when the abuse goes on for decades, with no shame on the part of the priests?

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The Catholic Church no longer can lay claim even to the word sanctify.

Thom Ring

Pascoag, R.I.

Commentator’s genuine concern sets stage for next month’s Rome meeting

I was dismayed to see such negativity directed at Garry Wills in two letters this week. Wills’s concern — and mine as well — is how the pope is going to solve the issue of bad priests, and by setting forth his view now as to why this issue persists worldwide, he sets the stage for next month’s meeting in Rome to address and end sexual abuse in the church. And end it the church must.

By writing his op-ed, Wills is demonstrating that he is a good and concerned Catholic; he is not commenting about the very positive and appropriate members of the priesthood who serve us so well.

Bob Houlihan