Catholic church must take responsibility

April 16, 2010

As a child of the ‘60s and a product of a Catholic education, I had great hope for the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II ("New life for Vatican II reforms?" April 16). Unfortunately, the windows that were "thrown open" by Vatican II have been slammed shut by succeeding popes. As a result, I was estranged from the church for a long time, and my return was due solely to the warmth and energy of a wonderful faith community in Baltimore City.

I cannot even remotely understand this horrific scandal that has circled the globe and implicated the hierarchy in denial, cover-ups and lies. I have read the pronouncements of the Roman Church and am astounded by the inability of this church to take responsibility, create plans to heal the church and deal with the abusive sins of some of their clergy. I find myself, once again, looking at the church from the outside, unsure of my position as a woman and as a Christian in such and un-Christian church. Where are the Church's Christian love, commitment, and social action to our suffering brothers and sisters?

My faith community is very committed to our members, to our immigrants and to our elders. But what credibility do we have as the "People of God" in the larger Roman Church as mentioned by Stephen J. Stahley? As I see it, we have no credibility, no power, and no ability to revitalize this church as ruled by this powerful, hierarchical, Vatican-centric organizational model.

I will stay in my faith community but I will not support the larger Church (either at the Archdiocese level or at the Church of Rome level) until I see this church take responsibility, establish a plan to heal and develop a selection and training model for clergy that will prevent this abuse from ever happening again. Until then, I will not support the Roman Church.

Pat Shannon Jones, Towson

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