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Stephen


I wish you reported on what the Bishop said about the last sentence of your article:

'During the spiritual talk delivered earlier in the course of the visit, he explained that the effectiveness of the Sacrament of Confession does not depend on the holiness of the minister'.

Inasmuch as we don't expect priests, whom we consider our spiritual doctors to be righteous, we also don't also expect them to be nonchalantly sinful-especially those who sin with the temple of the Lord, while exercising their sacred functions of priesthood.

I am not concern with a priest falling into temptation once in a while and after realizing himself, repents and continues with his call; I am talking of clergymen, constantly in sin. Some go as far as having 'girlfriends' and 'mistresses' whom they take charge of, constantly. Some are really biological fathers, unperturbed. Some travel abroad on holidays to reunite with their 'wives' and 'children'.

These are the kind of priests we should be concern with. These priests scare the Christian faithfuls to sects. These are those who are striving to bring down catholicism.These are the kind of priests, faithfuls find it difficult to go to, for the sacrament of confession. No one is judging, no one should cast the first stone, but remember the society checks! God doesn't reside or manifest in a dirty temple. Worst still is when the temple is constantly dirty. No one can determine the holiness of a priest. That is why I consider this reaction a call for conscience on all concerned.

The flimsy escapist phrase used sometimes by these constantly erring priests is: 'once a priest, always a priest'. Some say 'they have blood like all other humans'.

For a priest to intermittently fall into sin is just normal. Of course he is human, like all of us. But for a priest to perpetually dwell in sin especially against the temple of the Lord is satanic-He is not holy. He does
not deserve to dispense the Sacrament of Confession. People cannot just afford to intentionally sin because they can be granted forgiveness at anytime. That will be mocking God. The problem now is what strategy the Church superiors,such as Bishops, should adopt to track and help spiritually those constantly erring priests. They are dangerous to youthful Christians.

joe


LA cardinal apologizes to abuse victims

By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer 54 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES - After a whirlwind weekend, the negotiations that produced a landmark $660 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse are moving from the cathedral to the courthouse.

Attorneys from both sides, as well as Cardinal Roger Mahony, are expected in court Monday to enter a formal settlement agreement with Judge Haley Fromholtz. The deal marks the end of more than five years of negotiations and is by far the largest payout by any diocese since the clergy abuse scandal emerged in Boston in 2002.

Mahony, leader of the nation's largest archdiocese, apologized Sunday to the hundreds of clergy sex abuse victims who will receive a share of the settlement.

"There really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them. The one thing I wish I could give the victims ... I cannot," he said.

"Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused. It should not have happened and should not ever happen again."

Mahony said he has met with dozens of victims of clergy abuse in the past 14 months and those meetings helped him understand the importance of a quick resolution to what he called a "terrible sin and crime."

The cardinal said the settlement will not have an impact on the archdiocese's core ministry, but said the church will have to sell buildings, use some of its invested funds, and borrow money. He said the archdiocese will not sell any parish properties or parish schools.

"We gather today because this long journey has now come to an end and a new chapter of that journey is beginning," Mahony told reporters.

The settlement also calls for the release of priests' confidential personnel files after review by a judge.

"I think for those of us who have been involved in this for more than five years, it's a huge relief," said Michael Hennigan, archdiocese attorney. "But it's a disappointment, too, that we didn't get it done much earlier than this."

Parishioners reacted with a mix of disappointment and relief.

Vivian Viscarra, 50, who attends Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels three times a month, said the victims deserve the payout even though it could hurt the church's ability to deliver important services. The amount would average a little more than $1.3 million per plaintiff, although individual payouts will vary according to the severity and duration of the abuse.

"I am disappointed," Viscarra said. "And it's making me reevaluate my views of whether people in the ministry should be married. People do have needs."

The deal settles all 508 cases that remained against the archdiocese, which also paid $60 million in December to settle 45 cases that weren't covered by sexual abuse insurance.

The archdiocese will pay $250 million, insurance carriers will pay a combined $227 million and several religious orders will chip in $60 million. The remaining $123 million will come from litigation with religious orders that chose not to participate in the deal, with the archdiocese guaranteeing resolution of those 80 to 100 cases within five years, Hennigan said. The archdiocese is released from liability in those claims, said Tod Tamberg, church spokesman.

Plaintiffs' attorneys can expect to receive up to 40 percent of the settlement money — or $264 million — for their work.

The settlements push the total amount paid out by the U.S. church since 1950 to more than $2 billion, with about a quarter of that coming from the Los Angeles archdiocese. A judge must sign off on the agreement.

Previously, the Los Angeles archdiocese, its insurers and various Roman Catholic orders had paid more than $114 million to settle 86 claims. Several religious orders in California have also reached multimillion-dollar settlements in recent months, including the Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Jesuits.S. church since 1950 to more than $2 billion, with about a quarter of that coming from the Los Angeles archdiocese. A judge must sign off on the agreement.

Previously, the Los Angeles archdiocese, its insurers and various Roman Catholic orders had paid more than $114 million to settle 86 claims. Several religious orders in California have also reached multimillion-dollar settlements in recent months, including the Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Jesuits.

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