Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Letters to the Editor
(From the April 27, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)
The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 500 words. Letters must be signed, with address and phone number for contact, but names will be withheld upon request. Remember to be charitable.
Send letters to:
Fax: (509) 358-7302
Dear Victims of Sexual Abuse,
Those of you who were damaged by sexual abuse in our Catholic Church, I would like to ask a favor of you. Would you please set up a bank fund to which Catholics could contribute for as long as you need it?
I believe your stories.
I was sad to hear the news for the first time several years ago. I was more saddened after hearing your stories during the first listening session at St. Aloysius Parish. I find myself even more saddened now and disappointed by the way in which many of us practicing Catholics seem to be isolated from you.
This same Church that has harmed you has also been a source of healing and grace for me and for countless others. As complex as this may sound, it is true!
Your stories are true; there is no doubt. My story and that of others like me is also true. The darkness that gripped you missed us and passed us by. The same doors that both of us passed through were doors that have led to suffering for you and grace for us.
I have all along seen you as my sisters and brothers in the faith. It pains me to see where we as Church have ended up, looking to Caesar, to solve our own problems.
Please, give us some means to reach out to you as a Church. Many of you are the poor in spirit among us. We need not look far away to find worthy individuals. You are in our midst.
Iím not sure the diocese course of action is feasible. The expenses created by all of these court proceedings are too staggering to imagine. I do not have faith in this process but do see hope in what others and I can and will do. I cannot contribute a large amount each month but am willing to give as long as needed. A dear friend of mine, also a Catholic priest, stated to me that he would see himself doing the same. We just need a proper fund established by you and controlled by you.
Michael H. Walters, Spokane
In response to Mr. Heinzenís letter to the editor (IR 4/6/06):
I agree with Mr. Heinzen. Itís more than about time to get things in order, and being charitable and truly loving is to speak it, live it, and defend it.
Most of the priests we have now have had many years of study and know for certain what the holy Catholic Church teaches. But itís sad to say, compared to a game of sports, their coaching has been very poor. I believe theyíre fearful of losing so-called friendships with parishioners and their bishop.
Our Catholic faith is being trampled on by our own leaders in the faith. Going to Mass is very seldom any more a solemn holy prayer time. Itís become too much socializing and not enough on our knees.
If my mother would speak at the pulpit or write a letter, she would put us all at a humble state and help us love our Lord and one another.
For all the priests reading this letter, we truly love you and pray for you, but until we are restored by the grace from God, we can do little good.
Please, by Godís grace, preach to us what is mortal sin, encourage us to make a good confession regularly, and realize that Jesus is truly present in the tabernacle, Body, Blood, soul and divinity.
Let us not abandon our Lord Jesus Christ and our holy Catholic faith.
Joseph Glen Emerson, Fruitland, Wash.
What is this child molestation scandal, and diocesan bankruptcy doing to us, the Catholic Church?
There are those of us that say that they will support the Church, but they donít want any of our donation to go toward the settlement of the molestation suits.
There are those who are paying lawyers to protect against settlement decisions that might jeopardize their parish property.
And there are priests, God-faithful men, who have been cowered by this totally non-Christian state of affairs, and are not speaking up to help put this mess in proper Christian prospective.
Have we, you and I, forgotten that we are the Church, members of a family that believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ? As true disciples of the Christ, we must honor his message of love, forgiveness, and compassion, and come together in support of our family; in support of our Catholic Christian community.
Yes, a number of our priests sinned, hurting the most vulnerable of their parish family: And yes, our bishops made mistakes in handling the situation.
So, now what do we do about it?
As disciples of Christ, we pray for sinners and those who have made mistakes, and ask that the Holy Spirit gives us the strength to comfort those that have been hurt, and gives us the strength and the wisdom to avoid mistakes in the future and live our lives as Jesus taught us.
As citizens of the USA we must honor the penalty imposed on us, the Church, by the State.
We are the Church, you and I, and we must bring this crisis to an end. We must make it clear to our Bishop that he has our support to use all of our contributions as he sees fit to settle these suits. We should disband the Association of Parishes, again making it clear that buildings are not the Church, and if we need to sell or mortgage them to make our family whole again, so be it.
And last, but not least, we should make it clear that we want our priests to stand tall, giving us and our children a holy hug as a member of our parish family. We want them to be compassionate, but forceful leaders helping us to build a vibrant community of disciples of Jesus Christ.
Pete Ficalora, Spokane