Re "Facing Sin in the Ranks," editorial, Jan. 21:
I'd like to suggest that when an institution (in this case, the Vatican) makes unnatural demands on a human being, there will be "sins." The man-made stringent rules of celibacy are bound to bring about abuses. The Catholic Church has not handled this well in the past, posting priests to yet another parish so these acts can be continued, thus carrying the process on and on with youngsters. The church must come to grips with this untenable situation.
Reform is overdue in many ways. The one you mentioned in the editorial is but one; women as priests is another, and birth control yet another. The best solution, of course, would be to abolish celibacy altogether. By doing that, they wouldn't have to deal with secrets as they do now: confession, writing the new policies in Latin and quietly publishing in the Holy See's official gazette. Suspicions would be curbed.
If a crime is committed, there should be an obligation to report it to civil authorities, even if revealed in confession. Of course, the rights of the accused must be protected, but the rights of the victims, our children, are more important than any confession. Who else gets handled with kid gloves after a confession? This is the 21st century!