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Priest scandal costs Catholics

May 29, 2008

Re "Parishes help pay sex-abuse tab," May 25

I think it is the obligation of all Catholics to cover the costs associated with crimes committed by church officials. However, as a contributing Catholic, before I'd want my donations turned over to the diocese, I'd expect a few things.

We know the total amount the victims settled for. But we don't know the other costs associated with the scandal. I'd want full disclosure, including costs for attorneys and public relations. I'd want full disclosure of treatment costs for abusive priests and church employees. I'd want full disclosure of the costs associated with the cover-up, such as secret settlements.

Finally, I'd demand real reform. It's time for Catholics to become fully active in the governance of their church. I believe that if lay women and men had real authority, this scandal would not have occurred.

Mary Pitcher

Long Beach

I take issue with Father Scott Santarosa's metaphor. He said, "Every family has parts that break down or need help." I'm sorry, but this situation is not analogous to a daughter facing an unplanned pregnancy or a nephew needing a loan. It's a case in which the patriarch of the family, whose charge it is to protect everyone in his care, messed up irrevocably.

The Catholic Church is a hierarchical, opaque organization -- precisely the sort of organization in which corruption flourishes. I'm appalled that local parishes are being asked to scrape the collection plate and downsize office staff to pay this bill.

Let the Vatican have a yard sale. Rome is ultimately responsible, and Rome should pay.

Susan North

Los Angeles

We can suggest a partial solution to reduce the tab the Catholic Church now faces because of the mishandled sex-abuse cases. There is this primo piece of real estate at 555 West Temple St. in downtown Los Angeles, better known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. This monument, not to God but to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's ego, would fetch a fair price in the real estate market.

Jane and Jos. Bove

Fountain Valley

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