Readers Write (Feb. 15): Catholic Church, Hwy. 212 incident, coming out

  • Updated: February 14, 2014 - 6:03 PM

Clergy abuse payouts mean that millions won’t go to the hungry, needy, poor.


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That’s a lot of money not going to the needy

Regarding “$8.8M paid out for clergy abuses” (Feb. 14): You do realize, don’t you, that the money is not coming out of the corporate profits of an entity selling cigarettes or bath soap or electronic components, but from the pockets of mothers and fathers, children and singles who gave, and give, their dollars for the work of Christ in this world?

It is $8.8 million less for the hungry and needy and poor; for people in pain; for people who have messed up in their lives and need healing, and for the spread of a faith that has been, and is, the hope and guidance of millions.

And as for the lawyers who get their percentage — how eager are they to dig deeper into these pockets?

A little perspective is in order.


• • •

Of the $8.8 million amount, $1.7 million is paying for the living expenses of priests who have been abusive. The archdiocese says it is required under church law to care for priests who have been removed from the ministry.

Yes, care for priests who are no longer able to serve due to age or health issues, but the archdiocese should not provide living expenses for priests who have perpetrated evil against vulnerable children. Prison care for abusive clergy may be appropriate, but at minimum they should be expelled from the priesthood and left on their own to provide for themselves.

Parishioners’ offerings are meant for the glory of God. Note to church leaders: Change the law. Stop protecting and providing for those who use their position of trust and leadership to harm innocent children.


• • •

If a sexual assault were alleged to have occurred at 3M, would it be the company’s job to determine guilt or innocence? What is it, then, that makes the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis think that it is somehow different when it comes to cooperating with authorities in matters of crimes that potentially rise to the level of a felony? (“Archbishop ordered to testify,” Feb. 12.) Perhaps it is the notion that its central office in Rome has traditionally viewed every piece of property it owns throughout the world as sovereign property of the sovereign nation of the Vatican.

An allegation of sexual abuse on an Indian reservation is investigated not by state, federal or county authorities. It is investigated by the sovereign Indian nation. What the Catholic Church has traditionally failed to realize is that, in America, its property does not have the legal status of an independent nation. Nor does it have a law enforcement branch with the resources required to investigate crimes.

As such, a Ramsey County judge should never have had to issue an order for the deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt.

JOHN A. MATTSEN, New Brighton


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