March 22, 2002

Editorial

Catholic Church Abused by American Media

Media Witch Hunt Painful To See

Media hysteria over alleged sexual abuses committed by a small number of priests within the North American hierarchy, serves no end except to show how easily the public is manipulated. As a Mexican American by birth, I am resentful of the unbridled attacks levied at the entire Catholic Church over abuses committed by a very small number of priests. Once again, media frenzy has muddied and distorted the extent of the problem, and has tarnished the Catholic Church. It is easy to see how early, New England settlers were manipulated into burning alleged witches at the stake!

Fifty-five priests have been accused, but not convicted in a court of law, of committing homosexual acts with other males. They have been removed from the hierarchy before they have had their day in court! They were accused and judged guilty on the word of individuals who, to date, have not proved their charges in a court of law. Hysteria has taken hold and deprived these 55 priests of their civil and human rights. The media has condemned hundreds of thousands of priests, by association. A grievous disservice has been perpetuated against innocent priests.

For 2,000 years priests have devoted their lives to the care and salvation of the souls of their parishioners. In San Diego, 65 percent of the laity are of Mexican/Latino descent. Their lives have been in concert with the teachings of their church. It is quite clear that they are not deserting their church in droves over the hysterical rantings of those who know little of the Catholic religion. The church is maintained by the beliefs of its members. Without the hundreds of thousands of devoted Mexican, Latino and Anglo parishioners who religiously attend Mass, there would be no church and no priesthood. They are the body of Christ. They are the Church. The Priesthood exists to serve God and his people. Changes in the rules for how the Priesthood is constituted will change when, and only when, the parishioners of the church ordain it so. From our Pope to the lowest ranking priest - all enter Holy Orders to serve and be shepherds of the flock

When millions gather to pray to GOD, they manifest that "they are the Church." We recognize that over the past 2,000 years, millions of priests and nuns have faithfully served God and carried out their callings with love and dignity. They are the loyal servants of GOD. It is unthinkable that we, the Church, would abandon them for the misdeeds of a few. They have served their God well. Those who haven't will meet their maker in due time and atone for their sins.

Does this mean that we, as Catholics, condone their actions? Absolutely not! Where they are found, they should be exposed, removed from their positions of trust and charged under civil law for their criminal behavior. Give on to Cesar what belongs to Cesar! Let all those with their private agendas who are attacking our faith, take care. Don't begin something you can not end or win.

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