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Betrayal of Innocent Children and Priests

November 16, 2002

I'm glad to see that the Catholic bishops are now emphasizing the rights of innocent priests ("Bishops Change Tone on Abuse," Nov. 12). If they had only been so concerned about the rights of innocent children! But they were not. They were interested only in protecting the reputation of the institution and of the priests who had committed criminal acts.

As a Catholic I am beginning to wonder what other crimes have been kept secret to protect the reputation of priests, bishops and the institutional church. If priests are "being unfairly judged by the misdeeds of other priests," it may be because bishops have hidden their crimes not only from the public but also from their brother priests. They have betrayed the people they serve and the many innocent priests they are now trying to protect.

Doris Isolini Nelson

Los Angeles

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