I'm grateful to Pope Francis for his apology and acknowledgment of sexual abuse by church clergy [" 'God weeps,' " News, Sept. 28]. This was so long awaited by many in the church.

I feel that Pope Francis is one of the best men that the church has seen. I am glad he is going to take strong actions to make sure the abuse stops. He restores my faith that the church can be a source of comfort and place of worship for the people.

Marion Sierra, Bellmore

I want to take this opportunity to thank Newsday for the wonderful coverage of Pope Francis. The insert, "Pope Francis in America" [News, Sept. 28], was the culmination of your many days of complete and noteworthy coverage.

As a Catholic, I'm grateful for such a fine and total synopsis in a local, nondenominational newspaper. You did a yeoman's job!

Mary Kenney, Williston Park

Millions for school security is a pity

What is this country coming to when our government had to consider spending $3.2 million for emergency school security programs instead of on education for children ["Delay on panic alarms," News, Sept. 22]?

What's next, transporting our children in school buses outfitted like armored cars? Armed guards at all school entrances? Police SWAT teams roaming school halls?

Yet when some citizens try to put a limit on who can buy guns, they are immediately ostracized by organizations like the National Rifle Association.

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Only when a bit of sanity emerges will these millions of dollars go back to education and not to fortifying our schools!

Thomas Smith, Riverhead

Panic activation systems for schools are overrated. The worst situation a school can have is an active shooter, which can be more easily and safely detected and reported by installing a system like ShotSpotter in the building. This technology monitors sound waves for gunshots.

There could then be a direct link to the local police department for a response. Police would know exactly how many shots were fired and their location.

In addition, most staff members and administrators have access to cellphones. Police departments need to have the additional capability to receive 911 text messages. This would allow someone to report an incident in silence and could be ideal in an active-shooter situation.

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Alan Zederbaum, Holbrook

Editor's note: The writer is a retired SUNY police lieutenant.

Boarder should have spoken up

Little Bella Bond's life could probably have been saved if the boarder who lived in her Boston home had reported the parents' alleged abuse of her to authorities ["2 held in baby girl's death," News, Sept. 19].

Instead, according to news reports, he moved out "because he was appalled by how they treated Bella." Is there no culpability on his part? He even could have alerted authorities after moving out of the home.

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This is a prime case of "If you see something, say something," in which nothing was done. This 2-year-old could have been placed in a safe environment away from her allegedly abusive parents.

Children can't advocate for themselves, so it's an adult's moral responsibility to do so.

Joan Pellaton, Port Washington

Higher minimum wage: Where does it stop?

A recent letter writer wrote that the minimum wage should be at least $39 an hour so that someone living in New York City could afford the median rent of $2,690 a month ["Minimum-wage hike still not enough," Sept. 18].

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I could not agree more, but why stop at $39? We should just go right to $100 an hour. On our way there, we should throw in a complimentary lease of a Mercedes, 16 weeks of paid vacation, free season tickets to Yankees or Mets games, a wristband that allows free food and beverage at any NYC eating establishment -- and a copy of "Atlas Shrugged."

George A. Szarmach, Dix Hills