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Church Puts New 'Spin' on Child Abuse

June 04, 2002

Good grief! The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is hiring a PR firm to deal with "the very negative aspects" of this child sexual molestation issue that the press has focused on (May 30). Is there anything positive about molesting children and covering it up? Apparently the church is having difficulty presenting "the clear pastoral message of the cardinal."

How about the message that something awful was done repeatedly by many people and then it went unreported and unpunished by many others? This PR firm doesn't come cheap either. And which part of charitable church funds will be earmarked for this? Shouldn't the church, of all organizations, know what's right and wrong and rectify the situation by speaking the truth and confessing wrongdoings?

That would be so much cheaper and more forthright than enlisting a spin doctor.

Roza Besser



During the mid-1970s, I served as a psychology consultant to the L.A. Archdiocese Office of Ministry to the Handicapped. The pay was minuscule, but the energy, knowledge and devotion shown by the sister who headed the office at the time was, and still is, inspiring to this 63-year-old who is a not-very-observant Jew, disabled himself and an enormously fortunate man.

The car used by Sister Phyllis was approaching 100,000 miles and was constantly in the garage. She was denied use of a more fit car but never complained--nor would she accept driving to and from Camarillo in my far newer car. "We pay you shamefully, anyway," she said. We did what we could and the work was great. Eventually Sister Phyllis was transferred to the Midwest, and we have lost contact. Now the archdiocese has hired Enron's PR firm. You need not be religious or Catholic to feel like throwing up.

Robert M. Aber

Los Angeles

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