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Catholic Church's Critics Pursue a Larger Agenda

June 12, 2002

"Nailing Our Demands to the Door of the Catholic Church" (Commentary, June 10), Marcos McPeek Villatoro's column about the "demands" he makes of the Catholic bishops at their meeting in Dallas this week is typical of someone whose agenda is not to just stop the sexual abuse but to get the church to change some of its most fundamental teachings that have nothing to do with the current scandal. He wants women priests, women bishops and an end to celibacy. There are plenty of churches that already have exactly that--they are called Protestant, and I'm sure they'd be happy to take in Villatoro.

The Catholic Church needs serious reforms to make sure it addresses the victims of the sexual abuse scandal and takes measures to make sure this never happens again. What it doesn't need is the theological dissidence that led to this problem in the first place.

Patrick Scully

Director of Communications

Catholic League, New York

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Re "Confession's Good for the Soul, and Better if It Carries Right Spin," June 7: Steve Lopez has ridiculed one of the most sacred rites of my Catholic religion, the sacrament of reconciliation. I am offended, as I am sure thousands of Catholics whom he reaches are. There are those of us whose faith has become even stronger, even though a small number of our priests have done great wrong. There is nothing wrong with the Catholic Church. There is something wrong with many of the people in the church.

Lopez's profession is not altruistic. Compensation is determined by the reporter's readership. In driving the news on this story, Lopez hopes to become more popular while he does irreparable harm to those Catholics (as I'm sure he was at one time) who don't understand the teachings of our faith. He needs our prayers as much as our erring priests do.

Angelo P. Calfo

Thousand Oaks

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Kudos for Lopez. Teachers can lose their credentials just for not reporting child abuse. Cardinals and bishops seem to think they are above the law. It's time all the "Cardinal Roger Mahonys" were made responsible for their sins too.

Joe Lenihan

Los Angeles

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