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Church's Own Teachings Will Lead to Reform

June 24, 2002

Robert Scheer's June 18 commentary makes the mistake of many who are not themselves members of the Catholic Church. They view the church as a social club or the religious equivalent of any well-intentioned charitable organization. The sins of some, or even of many, are not reason to abandon the ideals of its founder.

Scheer includes "condom distribution, as well as the fundamental human rights of women to make their own decisions about their bodies" as part of a sweeping indictment of the church's centuries-held moral teachings. Now is not the time to abandon its ideals but to reinforce them compassionately and humbly, especially by those who preach them in the first place. And these tragic sins are a very good reason for the church to search deeply and contritely into clerical arrogance and seek yet again to reform itself with courage and humility.

The Rev. Rod Keller

St. Bonaventure Church

Huntington Beach

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How does it come to be that the cardinals and bishops get away with sex crimes--after letting them happen to innocents year after year? Does their arrogance save their skins? Or is it simply that one is safe if one is sufficiently high in the hierarchy of the corporation, be it one for religious practice or for energy? And if that is what it takes, is it not then ever thus?

B.G. Ellis

Laguna Woods

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