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Letter: Catholics must condemn secrecy, abuse in church

Unless the priest saying Mass this Sunday is willing to begin services stating he knew nothing about the sex abuse going on for the last 70 years, you should not contribute to the collection. If you do, you may be paying for more cameras and security devices the bishop is installing to keep the secrets secret.

Many Catholics find solace that no one they know was abused, or that their parish priest was not one of those named in The Buffalo News. Parents thank God the abuse did not happen to their children. But, is that so? “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers…” (Matthew 25:40) Imagine the number of children, now adults, who suffered for years because they did not have the voices for a “Me, Too” outcry. Harvey Weinstein has nothing on those parish leaders!

Some kids lived in shame while others told their parents about the abuse. What did it matter? Children and their parents were either disbelieved or ignored. In fact, parents and teachers who were believed watched as the criminal priests were quietly reassigned to fresh preying grounds.

Now is not a time for tepid responses to these crimes. Catholics must be strong in their condemnation. As loudly as they pray the Creed, Catholics must call for an end to secrecy, to abuse, and to covering up facts with euphemisms.

No longer can we talk about criminal behaviors as mistakes or ignore how common, how ordinary, it was for priests to abuse children, so common in fact, there was a plan in place for covering up the crime.

Any priest who knew about sexual abuse in his diocese but remained silent, meaning he did nothing to stop it, must be held accountable.

Bless me, Father, for you have sinned.

Lynn Sullivan

Orchard Park

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