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Published: Tuesday, 5/7/2002

Punish bad priests, support good ones

The recent scandal of the Catholic Church has brought child molestation into the limelight. In most ways, this is good. Our children are invaluable. Anyone who hurts them in any way should be punished and prevented from doing it again.

The bad side is that there will now be many false accusations made and more innocent people will suffer. Plus, the whole reverential title of priest will be tarnished. Priests, in general, will now face suspicions and have to be on guard in all they say and do. The child, in genuine need of a pat on the back or a hug of comfort or celebration, may now have to do without it.

The pedophile is not limited to the Catholic Church. Cases are found in all religions and all walks of life, and they are a minority. Most priests have devoted their lives to trying to help and guide the people God has put into their hands. When we encounter crises, God is who we need, and the priest helps us feel his presence.

We need and want to protect our children. By all means, bring the true offenders to justice, but don't judge all priests by the sins of a few. Let the good priests, the majority, know that you support them. Let young boys and men know that the priesthood is an honorable vocation that serves both God and man. Punish the bad, but save and support the good.

JUDY CLIFTON

Benwick Road

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The vow of silence by the Catholic Church should be of no surprise to anyone. It can be found in any form of religion, government business, or family. The failure to communicate the basic rule, “honesty is the best policy,” is the simple answer in all of this. No amount of money can compensate for living a life of lies. When one is forced to hide behind a wall of secrets, there can never be healing, forgiveness, or a sense of complete love and trust for anyone.

Can't we please stop living a life of fear in the truth, a life of wasting time, money, and energy hiding behind that wall and get back to the basic “Truth be told ...”?

PAM MACK

Metamora

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I watch with interest and dismay as the Lucas County “brain trust” continues to spend money on improvements and advertising for Toledo Express Airport. Unfortunately, that facility serves little practical purpose as airline after airline properly stops service in order to stem its losses. For many Toledoans the drive to Detroit Metropolitan is not much longer than it is to Toledo Express. In return, when they arrive at Metro they can fly jet service nonstop to virtually anywhere in the world. Toledo cannot and should not expect to compete with such a major, first-class facility.

It is time that the county leaders stop squandering tax dollars on this obsolete location. A better use of the money would be to develop and subsidize a ground transportation service that would leave on a regular basis from key, diverse locations around the city and suburbs for Detroit Metro. Coupled with regular returns from Metro, this would thus eliminate parking concerns and provide door-to-door service for Toledo travelers.

The bureaucrats should put their egos aside and start doing something that will be of service to the citizens of the area rather than funding a dying artifact.

JOHN C. CHEZEK

Holland

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Is anything more important than our children's education? Not really. So I support Ford Cauffiel in his efforts to improve education.

The situation must be pretty desperate if 71 percent of Toledo's fourth grade students cannot read at grade level. Shocking! What a dismal situation!

Perhaps Mr. Cauffiel should be commended for his concern and for his actions. Among other actions in behalf of our children, he started (and funded) the SOS program, which pays good students to tutor slow students.

It is indeed disappointing that some Toledo school board members criticize Mr. Cauffiel rather than support him. Yes, he has strong opinions, but his motives are beyond criticism.

The school board should appreciate his concern and support his efforts. The issue here is very important - too important to let progress be slowed by petty conflict. Let's everyone cooperate for the good of the children.

D.P. TRACY

Rector Street

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Some in my Boomer generation need to admit some things if we're ever going to run this country right.

We like to think we are the champions of freedom and peace, surpassing not only our World War II parents but also the Founding Fathers. What an acid trip! The truth is we pampered Boomers received the greatest educational, economic, freedom, and peacetime benefits in the history of mankind, not by our efforts, but theirs.

We were born with silver spoons in our mouths and have lived very sheltered lives. That's why we think we have the luxury of defending people like the Palestinians who support terrorism. That's why we find it hard to correctly understand the plight of Israel, or even our own plight of Sept. 11.

We have never had to live under the threat of Hitler or an Arafat. We don't understand that unfortunately in this world there are legitimate times to go to war, when evil cannot be dispelled with smiley faces, demonstrations, or passing a joint.

Because we've never faced a depression, we do not realize the importance of being responsible and doing more than partying all the time. We don't realize the importance of the traditional family in hard times, when the father must be a man, the woman a mother, and children are to respect and obey.

If we face facts, we can correct the current conditions admirably, for we have been given abundant resources and all the love in the world. Or we can continue to shamelessly trash things for ourselves and future generations, all in the name of freedom.

DAVE BAUMGARTEN

Westmar Court

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For three weeks, Israel led an incursion into the Palestinian town of Jenin. Throughout Israel's military operation, no journalists or photographers were allowed to enter the premises. Finally, the United Nations sent rescue workers to observe the damage. Israel refused them and said that the U.N. is biased.

Is this the whole truth, or is Israel scared that if the truth were to prevail, its reputation may become smeared? So what is it that it wants to keep the public eye from seeing? Palestinians claim that hundreds of lives have been lost. The U.N. believes the situation is a human tragedy. Israel, though, claims it all to be Palestinian myth and propaganda. It says that only a few dozen of lives were lost and that its intentions were to wipe out any terrorists. Do 6 million people have to die for it to be a holocaust? Can't the unjust deaths of hundreds be one? Or simply, the death of a loved one?

AMAL ABDULLAH

West Sylvania Avenue

Eileen Foley's April 19 column, “Cardinal, alas, can't be ousted,” dismayed and shocked me. Her tone was so consistently and ruthlessly vindictive. There was not a hint of the respect and sensitivity that this complex issue needs and deserves. It seemed to me that Ms. Foley was relieving herself of long-suppressed anger; I hope this was cathartic for her. However, besides Matthew 18:5-6 (regarding “millstones”), Ms. Foley might consult Matthew 7:1 (regarding “Judge not lest you be judged”). Even if a “cardinal, alas, can't be ousted,” the rancor in our hearts can.

SISTER MARY KRISTA BENDA

Sisters of Notre Dame

Secor Road



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