Re "Cardinal goal was protecting Mahony," column, July 17
It is a mistake to think that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony is trying to protect himself. He is trying to protect his flock. If you are a Roman Catholic, you believe that the church is essential for salvation. Over the years, it has been clear to the Roman Catholic hierarchy that anything that undermines the confidence of the faithful in the church risks driving people away, thereby dooming them to hell. Therefore, the best thing to do about the misdeeds of priests is to cover them up. As the reasoning goes, the harm done to boys through molestation is far less than that through eternal damnation.
This runs entirely counter to the views of our modern secular society. Protestants don't have this problem because they do not believe that the church is essential for salvation. Roman Catholics are going to have to find a way out.
Re "No absolution yet," editorial, July 17
You mention the "vile offenses" of priests, but you don't broach the elephant-in-the- room issue of celibacy. Clearly, it doesn't work. There has to be a groundswell movement, from Catholic parishioners up, to do away with this inhumane practice.