Letters

Letters from the week of April 29, 2004

The Bishop Be Damned
Adult Catholic's perspective: Regarding your column on Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien, masterful is an understatement ("The Divine Sociopath," Michael Lacey, April 15). What is so hopeful about what you said is this: You are an adult and a Catholic, and you think like an adult, not a dumb and docile child. Which is the way too many adult Catholics think and act when it comes to the church.

It's hopeful because what you said gives hope to others who are perhaps too scared to think and give voice to deep opinions about the lunacy of our church leadership and the even greater lunacy of showing partiality to criminals simply because they have a title. Jim Reed is just as dead, whether it was O'Brien or some poor drunken driver who killed him.

You said it all so well and so honestly.

Thomas Doyle
Via the Internet

Horrifying indifference: You do a wonderful job of telling the story of Bishop O'Brien's horrifying indifference to human suffering in all its dreadful details, even while you tell us the mystery of your return to the pews. You have got it right without spelling it out to people. We do need the institution to pass on the old story -- and somehow get past whoever is at the altar and focus on the resurrection of life and love.

Nobody should become an impediment between God and the children of God.

Rea Howarth, coordinator
Catholics Speak Out
Quixote Center
Hyattsville, Maryland

Survivors take heart: Hooray! I applaud your recent article regarding Bishop O'Brien's perverted cover-ups and twisted lies. Your staff has consistently told the whole truth for the last 15 years -- the other side of the story that no one else wants to touch or acknowledge.

As a survivor of these cowards, it brings me hope each time a new piece of the sick puzzle is brought to light. I thank all of you for that and want you to know it helps gives me strength and encouragement to press forward. I know other survivors feel the same.

Keep up the awesome work!

John Starkey
Prescott

Welcome back to the church: Excellent article! Thanks for the research and giving a behind-the-scenes account of the workings of the diocese. Very revealing stuff.

On a personal note, as a practicing Catholic whose sister was abused by a priest, I commend you, Michael, for not allowing the criminal priests to take away your faith in God. The church is most certainly a mess, but if those with integrity choose to leave, the problem only gets worse. Welcome back.

Paul Pfaffenberger
Gilbert

I love your paper again: I just read your recent article in New Times about the church and its tribulations. A damned fine piece of writing. I had about given up on NT, but this type of journalistic excellence brings me right back.

Jack Katz
Mesa

The bishop will get his: I couldn't agree more. As a practicing Catholic and product of 12 years of Catholic schooling, I was appalled and disgusted at how the Catholic Church has turned into big business, and the courts have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to its evildoers. The only solace I can gather is that Bishop O'Brien will receive his just deserts in the life to come, if not this one.

Mike Carara
New York City

God, please punish the cretin: Bishop O'Brien is a feckless, immoral clown who isn't worthy of the job or the title. Hopefully, your story will receive wide coverage and the church will realize it better punish cretins like O'Brien if it ever intends to regain some semblance of integrity and honor in the community.

Hopefully there is a God, and O'Brien will have to answer before Him. The church is presently rotting from the head down and will take years to recover, if it ever can.

"Illegitime non Carborundum," which I believe means: Don't let the bastards wear you down!

Gene Brennan
Chatham, Massachusetts

Michael Lacey Lives!
Glad somebody got it: I think your article is thoughtful and well-written. A difficult one to compose, no doubt, but I agree heartily that preferential treatment was obvious in this case -- and it's most disturbing. The power of the church marches on.

I am glad you are not ill.

Emily Long
Via the Internet

Some were left wondering: I'm curious. Is Mike Lacey really sick? With cancer -- hospice, morphine drip, adult diapers and hopelessness about your booty? Or not? Mike, in your column "The Divine Sociopath," did you get hopped up on stuff to write a bad nightmare, or is it truly an insight to your impending demise? Fingers crossed that all is well with you.

Bobbie Ulloa
Via the Internet

But seriously, Mike: I do not know if you were serious about your terminal illness; I have not read the entire article you wrote yet, but, if you are suffering, please be assured of my prayers for your needs. God bless you and comfort you.

William David Kirkpatrick
Phoenix

Break on through, dude: Mike, sorry to hear about your condition, but glad you're still feisty enough to turn out such a revealing and insightful piece. I've enjoyed your work and will miss your contributions, wit and especially that wry humor! May your pain end soon, my friend, and like Jim Morrison said: "Just break on through to the other side!"

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