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Protest in the Church

July 02, 2005

Re "Man Arrested in Protest During Mass at Cathedral," June 27: Let us not forget what brought the 200-plus people to protest last Sunday. The silent protest was to honor the 177 victims of abuse who no longer have a voice. These victims, the ones we know of, chose the ultimate sacrifice rather than face the frustration from a system that would not protect them.

I know it well, having been hospitalized for suicide attempts on more than one occasion. I faced the middle fingers and cursing of those opposed to us being there, and realized the fears that had kept me silent so long. I withstood those offenses for the lives lost from the church's abuse. I honored those lives in an effort to get the truth heard.

Suicide is a crime that is never prosecuted. The reason is that the perpetrator is already dead. I would suggest the perp for those 177 suicides is also the Catholic Church.

Dave McGuire

Los Angeles

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Quit blaming Cardinal Roger Mahony for your being molested! That someone ran up during a Mass and handcuffed himself to the cardinal's chair is outrageous. What did this solve? Mahony did not molest you! Why don't you put the blame on who did?

Mahony has cooperated with the police and has released the names of most priests who molested children. He has not released other names because he is abiding by California laws of privacy. Molestation is an outrage, and I know the cardinal agrees; however, he also cannot legally violate the rights of the perpetrators. I am tired of reading about people blaming him when he has done nothing but serve God and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to the best of his ability, while abiding by California law. Instead of blaming him, do something to help the victims, just as he has tried to do.

Nora Hull

Orange

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There are no words to describe how much I admire James Robertson, who handcuffed himself to the cathedra (the throne chair) of Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

But Robertson's protest against the continued legal stonewalling by the archdiocese to conceal the records of pedophile Roman Catholic clergy, not to mention the names of those among the church hierarchy who protected these child molesters in cassocks, symbolized more than just a man trying to make a point.

Whether he knew it or not, by shackling himself to this "throne," this symbol of power, Robertson was telling us that he is still a prisoner, a victim of not merely the incidents of the sexual abuse that shattered his life but of the apathy and cruelty of an uncaring and heartless church.

Victoria Martin

Santa Monica

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Seems to me Robertson made clear in his actions what the real situation is: that every survivor of priest abuse in the L.A. Archdiocese is chained to Mahony's chair until the cardinal discloses fully all credibly accused priests, withholding no further documentation and putting his behavior where he says his intentions are.

Kathy Downing

Burbank

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Because Mahony chose to have a man arrested on Sunday, he managed to shift attention off the real purpose of why 200 caring Catholics and molestation victims were outside his cathedral.

We wanted to remind the public that the cardinal continues to stonewall prosecutors and keep secret the names of 33 known, admitted or credibly accused clerics. We wanted to emphasize that many do not survive childhood sexual abuse, and end up taking their lives. We wanted to urge any witnesses or other victims of sex crimes by clergy to come forward and get help.

But because Mahony wouldn't forgive this one individual (as Christ himself taught us to do), he skillfully diverted the focus off his own insensitivity and onto someone else.

The pejorative nickname so many have given Mahony -- the "Teflon Cardinal" -- is apparently well deserved.

Erin Brady

Sierra Madre

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I would like to know why those church officials aren't concerned or sympathetic with the victims who have been injured by the priests, since archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg said church authorities sought Robertson's arrest because "we owe it to the people who come to the cathedral and to the Mass."

If that is the case, why don't the church officials owe the victims of sexual abuse who were traumatized by the priests' criminal acts? Is concern or justice one-sided? Don't they think they owe the man who was sexually assaulted by one of them, whose life had been altered and who was brave enough to take the seat of the cardinal? Shouldn't they be asking themselves as shepherds of Christ: What would Christ do?

Marie Tupper

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

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