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Church more interested in protecting image

October 14, 2005

Re "Study Reveals Vast Scope of Priest Abuse," Oct. 13

Little by little, the Catholic Church in Los Angeles is being forced to reveal the degree to which it deceived the public about child abuse and its cover-up.

J. Michael Hennigan, the church's attorney, has been quoted as saying that the documents "show men of goodwill and intelligence struggling" with how to handle sexual abuse. It seems pretty clear to me, and I consider myself a woman of goodwill and intelligence, that what needed to be done, and still needs to be done, is the cardinal and his lawyer coming clean and for once in this sordid affair doing the right thing.

Even now they are releasing partial documents in an effort to appear as if they are cooperating. None of their actions show goodwill in protecting innocent children and vulnerable adults. Rather, their actions show only that they are willing to do almost anything to protect what is all-important to them: their own reputations.

GABRIELLE AZZARO

Cardiff by the Sea

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This latest study on the scope of priestly abuse points out that Cardinal Roger Mahony must resign if any healing is to truly take place. He has been disingenuous from the start on how these matters have been handled. How can a church or any institution preach the moral high ground to the community on the one hand, while on the other continue to harbor criminals and obstruct justice? Maybe someone can explain to me how keeping information secret under a seal of confidentiality trumps breaking the law?

JOE SEVENLISS

Corona

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I believe we as Catholics should pay for therapy for all victims, but we should not become a jackpot for these victims' attorneys. Money will not heal the wounds, and punishing the church means punishing the Catholics in the pews who fund billions of dollars in charitable works -- schools, hospitals, etc. Remember, the files released cover decades and consist of 129 people among millions of Catholics. We need perspective here.

MIKE WARREN

Glendale

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