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Letters: Dealing with church sex-abuse scandal

Reader letters to Newsday for Thursday, March 7, 2019.

Pope Francis (C) and Italian priest Federico Lombardi

Pope Francis (C) and Italian priest Federico Lombardi pray on the second day of a global child protection summit for reflections on the sex abuse crisis within the Catholic Church on Friday at the Vatican. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images/GIUSEPPE LAMI

I am stunned by the Expressway column by a loyal Catholic who writes that she was devastated by the church’s failure to discipline a priest she knew to be an abuser [“Amid the scandals, I’m still Catholic,” March 3].

I have one question: When you saw that the priest went unpunished and continued to have contact with this boy, why didn’t you call the police? Why didn’t you stand up and act until this child was protected? Unfortunately, having been raised Catholic, I know the answer.

Catholics are, or at least were, raised to obey and defer to church leadership. That is exactly why the cases of sexual abuse were allowed to go on for years and, also, exactly what is wrong with organized religion. When the institution becomes more important than the mission, corruption is inevitable and it bleeds from the entity into the individual.

I have seen much good done by people working under true spiritual guidance. Belief in God can be comforting when not much else is, and Jesus taught a truly inspirational philosophy. However, the church is often less about Jesus and more about power, politics and control than is admitted.

When a child suffers for years because loyalty to an organization exceeds the moral imperative to act in defense of the defenseless, there is something seriously wrong with the culture of the group. I hope that Pope Francis is able to create a healthier, more open environment for those who choose to stay.

Cynthia Lovecchio,

Glen Cove

  

Reading the Expressway, I was shocked that writer Pat McDonough never offered her regret in not intervening to notify the police after learning that her report to the diocese regarding a young man having been molested by a priest in her parish did not result in the priest’s removal. In fact, she states that he became bolder.

She is an educator and a psychologist. She should have known better.

You can’t erase all the damage done by molesting clergy by enumerating all the good things that are done by churches.

Makes me wonder what being a good Catholic means.

Susan Masone,

Huntington

  

  

Pat McDonough’s Expressway is a moving tribute to the power of Catholic parish life. For most Catholics, our faith is lived out in the parish, not the diocesan chancery or the Vatican. This is why, despite the misdeeds and crimes of those at the top of the church, we remain loyal to the vitality of our local parish community. It is liturgies and ministries that comfort and serve and give our lives meaning. I, too, am still Catholic, as I am still an American despite the misdeeds and crimes of our national leaders.

Richard Koubek,

Dix Hills

   

Cuomo and state property taxes

For once, I agree with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo [“Why New York needs a permanent tax cap,” Opinion, March 3].

Cuomo has learned that enough is enough; the remaining middle class on Long Island has reached the end of its rope. In fact, he needs to take his suggestion to the next level.

He should mandate that each year New Yorkers get a 2 percent reduction in our state taxes. Surely, Cuomo can find just 2 cents out of every dollar to save from our state government spending. Lay off some state employees; negotiate better deals with contractors who serve New York. We could allow fracking in our state, and that would generate thousands of jobs. Maybe, just maybe, we could lure a giant corporation to come to New York and hire thousands on New Yorkers and pay huge corporate taxes to New York.

On second thought, that would be too much like a Republican. So we will just stay the way we are and watch the middle class move to Florida.

James Laurita,

Commack

  

  

It’s amusing when people write in suggesting the 2 percent property tax cap is bad for the education system and should be abolished [“State should reject property tax cap,” Opinion, March 4]. Imagine that, school systems with a blank check from taxpayers. If that isn’t a frightening thought, I don’t know what is.

Tony Tanzi,

Mastic Beach

  

    

Rather than standing by while Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo keeps whining about SALT deductions [“Cuomo, 7 governors call for SALT cap repeal,” News, Feb. 23], perhaps you can point out how he can take an active role in improving the state’s finances while helping New Yorkers reduce the cost of living here.

In denying hydraulic fracturing, Cuomo has ceded hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue and thousands of jobs to Pennsylvania. In halting the extension of a natural gas pipeline into the Hudson Valley, he has sentenced Westchester County to a future of ruinous energy costs and negative economic growth.

If he wants to wallow in self-pity along with other blue state governors, that’s his choice. If he would look in the mirror, he’d see the real reason why people are leaving the state.

Chris Dillon,

Centerport

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