Letters from Readers: End Abuse

By Carol Kuhnert
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 16, 2005

Regarding a recent letter that criticized David Clohessy and his group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, about the conviction of the Rev. Thomas Graham and David Clohessy: We must stop giving clergy our trust and respect just because they are priests. The safety of our children and ourselves may depend on it. Even vulnerable adults fell victim to my brother, the Rev. Norman Christian, while counseling them as a priest.

Some priests lie, even to themselves. My brother did. When I learned of his pedophile behavior, he told me he never forced any of the kids to do anything. Really? What 10-year-old boy expects, much less wants, to be molested and raped by a priest?

It seems church officials remove pedophiles from the ministry only when forced to do so. Mr. Clohessy is doing what each person who holds the Catholic Church dear needs to do. Each Catholic needs to stop looking the other way and insist that our church leaders help victims of these pedophile priests and remove all pedophiles from ministry.

It is painful to accept that this happened, but denial allows the crime to go on. We need to love our church enough to encourage change. Hate the message, not the messenger. Show compassion to the victims and pray for those who have abused them.


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