Ethics, Morals and Sex Ads, Oh My!

Letters from the week of May 16, 2002

Bored of Supervisors

Aloha, Mr. Stapley: The article "Crack Addicts, Political Shenanigans and Indian Relics" (John Dougherty, May 9) goes a long way to explain why Arizona, my old residence, and Hawaii, my new residence, have both dropped near the bottom of the 2002 "Best States." Louisiana is ranked last.

Maybe Marianne Jennings needs to have Don Stapley, et al., in her ethics class at ASU for about four years!

Kathy Howe

Catholic Complacency

Sin should carry a high price: So now we know, we can't send our children to church for moral training.

After reading Robert Nelson's "Sins of a Father" (May 9), I want to say thank you to Doris Kennedy and Sharon Roy for their bravery! Although they have endured intense intimidation by the Catholic Diocese, they continue to fight for what is right for themselves, their children and all the other victims whose names are piled under the holy rug of the Catholic Church.

I am enraged that the church quietly collected all the reports of rape and molestation through the years while continuing to pay the sexual predators to teach and lead their victims and prey. Apparently the leaders of the Catholic Church are more concerned about their image and making money than they are the people who trust them and pay their salaries through tithing.

I'm sorry to Mrs. Kennedy's son, who has to relive the horrific experiences and let his humiliating story be told. Please know we all feel great compassion for you and hope the diocese is financially devastated after paying your settlement.

Did anyone else find it interesting that the Catholic Church has a psychotherapy hospital that treats priests for pedophilia and lack of sexual control? The church also has a sexual abuse policy in place (although it appears it hasn't been referred to in a few decades). Why? Do our school districts have special hospitals for their pedophiliac employees? No. They would have to go to the local penitentiary for "treatment."

Maybe the Catholic Church should take a cue from Reverend Billy Graham, who never allows himself to be alone with a woman other than his wife: Never allow a leader to be alone with a child, in turn protecting all innocent parties. Another suggestion comes from the Bible: I Corinthians 7:8-9 states "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

Since the church will be paying many millions in settlements for the victims, here's a cost-cutting tip: Take all the sex offenders off the payroll. Put them up in the prison system like all the other rapists and child molesters in our country. I, along with the rest of the taxpayers in the U.S., will be happy to pay their housing costs. I'm sure the inmates will treat them as they deserve. And try to find a better way to use your parishioners' money than having them pay for their kids to be molested. However, the parishioners may not want you to spend their money anymore.

So before you lose all your funding, compensate each and every victim whose lives were brutally stolen from them because of your blatant disregard for innocent and hurting people.

And when all the victims have come forward, and the church has financially compensated each one greatly, maybe it will have some sense of what it feels like to have everything taken from you.

Valerie Lancaster

The Father, the daughter and the holy ghost: Father Pat Colleary is proven the father of the child of a young parishioner who came to him for grief counseling. He gives her more grief than she could ever imagine -- pregnancy! Worse, he currently precipitates a separation between his adult daughter and her mother. Aren't priests in the business of reconciliation?

Colleary and the diocese claim he kept silent about the birth of his daughter for 15 years and only admitted it after paternity was proven in court. Isn't that called lying? Fifteen years of deadbeat fatherism. Does that mean that Colleary gave 15 years of absolution during confession to thousands of Catholics who thought they were forgiven? None of those people were forgiven; Colleary was never in the state of grace. (Sorry, non-Catholics, you will never understand this.) Colleary was in the state of "cut and run-ism."

Next he tells another lie, without an ounce of proof, that 20-some years ago he took a (now lost, of course) lie-detector test that proves he didn't molest a little boy. Well, Colleary, go take another one! I bet you don't, at least not one anyone except the diocese can see.

Dianne Hanagan
Prescott Valley

Heal thyself: New Times shows great interest in scrutinizing the Episcopal reaction to priestly sexual misconduct, particularly pedophilia. Thoughtful people may be inclined to wonder why a newspaper that is so corrupted as to have indecent advertisements and personal ads freely available to minors (not that adults should be indulging in such "adult" entertainment either) should be so indignant at sexual immorality, much less inadvisable responses to it by Bishop Thomas O'Brien, whose own personal life is exempt from both the behavior of those subordinate priests and the shameless sexual chaos that your newspaper serves so well to encourage. Perhaps in your high spiritual state, you can discern some fine moral line between the fornication, homosexuality, female-degrading pornography and abortion, which your newspaper espouses, and pedophilia. But we claim that such a line will stand up to honest intellectual analysis, like the Maignot Line held up against the blitzkrieg.

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