Catholic Church hierarchy enabled sex abuse crisis

Your report of clerical abuse of children in the Roman Catholic Camden Diocese sparks special interest. I was educated at Blessed Sacrament in Margate and Holy Spirit in Absecon in the 1960s and 1970s, and many of the 56 accused priests’ names are familiar to me.

Galling best describes Camden Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan’s statement that 56 named priests were a “small percentage” of the more than 800 priests who had served over the past eight decades. His characterization of the problem sums up the problem itself: This is an epidemic of abuse enabled by church hierarchy.

The Catholic hierarchy has long known the findings of the late Richard Sipe, the psychotherapist and former Benedictine monk who treated and studied pedophile priests for decades. His findings estimated that 6 percent of clergy are child sexual predators. The Camden Diocese said 7 percent of its clergy have been credibly accused of acting out sexually with minors.

The diocese’s website lists the pedophile priests by name, along with their assigned parishes. Many of the clergy were reassigned with absurd frequency — up to 16 times — suggesting the diocese allowed these men to serially abuse youth with impunity.

Ted Gallagher

New York

Cowen’s case convincing for emergency savings

Regarding the recent column by Tyler Cowen, “One shutdown lesson: Americans need to save more”:

Tyler Cowen is no Thomas Paine, but he sure presented some common sense in his commentary.

Explaining why we should have a nest egg to tide us over problems like those caused by the government shutdown, and illustrating how much less-prosperous people around the world manage to save, should be a wake-up call for everyone. Such financial problems should be anticipated, if not expected.

Many clouds have a silver lining and inspiring Americans to save for emergencies is a gold-plated one. I hope Cowen’s wisdom motivates readers to be prepared. I personally am going to broadcast his inspiration to all my, relatives, friends, neighbors, parishioners and internet contacts.

Ettore “Ed” Cattaneo

North Cape May

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