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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Saving the Soul of the Catholic Church

May 30, 2003

Re "Fugitive Ex-Priest Falls to His Death," May 27: In September 1979 my husband and I were married at St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church in Anaheim. I was appalled when I learned last year that the priest who married us, Father Siegfried F. Widera, was a convicted child molester. When I heard of his death, I felt anger and sadness. I am angry at the Catholic Church, particularly the Diocese of Orange.

The major role of the church is to save souls, yet this church apparently did nothing to save the soul of its own brother. This failure led to the molestation of many children and the tragic death of a lost and sick soul. If the Catholic Church had spent more time ministering to its brethren and less time building million-dollar cathedrals, I think these tragedies could have been avoided.

Maryanne Rose

Laguna Niguel

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