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Letters: Rebuilding the Catholic church

May 15, 2013

Re "A posthumous fall from grace," May 12

On the one hand, men like Cardinal Roger Mahony and the late Msgr. Benjamin Hawkes, who was accused posthumously of sex abuse, seemed to be just the men to act in the best interests of the Los Angeles archdiocese at a time of a rapid expansion of the Catholic population. On the other, they were unable to resist profound moral pitfalls while working to meet those needs.

Mahony is trying to reinstate himself as a moral leader after having been exposed as a protector of sexual predators. Hawkes, after successfully building up an archdiocesan empire before Mahony was appointed its leader, allegedly assaulted two of his young charges.

Both men are among the many Catholic clergy with similar failings. Tales of abuse by so many clerics abound.

The saddest reality, of course, is the unbelievable harm done to children. How deeply we Catholics need to somehow rebuild our church.

Ann McLennan

Santa Barbara

It is astonishing to me that people are still shocked by allegations of child rape in the L.A. archdiocese.

The allegations against Hawkes are just another tragic example of what seems to be the rule, not the exception. If any other organization had such a record of child torture, public outrage and government prosecution would combine to obliterate it.

As long as the church profits from public and government sanction, we will continue to read about such horrors.

Michael Napoliello

Manhattan Beach

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