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Continued: Readers Write: (May 31): Health care access, immunizations, Catholic Church, waste reduction

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  • Last update: June 2, 2014 - 11:06 AM

Blame consultants more than cardinals

The May 28 letters with preformed opinions about Katherine Kersten’s excellent summary of the cases of sexual abuse by priests (“Clergy sex abuse is serious, but the church is also a target,” May 27) missed the three main points: (1) The percentage of abusers among Catholic priests is the same percentage as in society as a whole. Back when the first disclosures were made in Boston, a non-Catholic psychiatrist friend told me the percentage was the same among Protestant ministers. (2) The article reminded us that the priests were transferred “after treatment,” usually at St. Luke Institute. In those days, the consultants assured the church that the priests were reliable. (3) The lawyers are following the “deep pocket” approach of “going where the money is.” The proper action should have been against the professionals who pronounced them healed of the tendency. Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston should have fought the action instead of settling with each complainant. Since then, scores of people have come out of the woodwork with complaints — legal, fraudulent or imaginary.

Robert J. Small, Eden Prairie

• • •

He killed some classmates, but they shouldn’t have bullied him. He beat his son, but he was beaten as a child, so what could you expect? She was raped, but did you see the way she was dressed? There seems to be a common effort by some in this society to blame the victim and defend the perpetrator, and now Kersten has the gall to use the abuse scandal as a lead-in to try to paint the Catholic Church as a victim.

James Bettendorf, Brooklyn Park


Recycling by businesses is key to reaching goals

I am writing in response to the May 28 article “New state law means recycling bins head to work.” Hennepin County residents and businesses generate more than a million tons of waste per year, and more than half comes from businesses. Increasing recycling by businesses is critical to meeting the county’s recycling goals. We have resources available now to help businesses start or improve their recycling programs. We offer grants of up to $50,000 to help with the purchase of containers, equipment and hauling services. We also have staff available to help businesses assess what will work best.

I commend business leaders, like the 30 businesses that were first to receive our grants, for recognizing that having a strong recycling program makes good business sense and demonstrates commitment to the community. The new law also requires sports facilities to recycle. The Minnesota Twins should be recognized for partnering with the county to offer recycling for fans and for composting food waste behind the scenes.

To move toward zero waste, we all need to do our part. Make sure you recycle everything you can at work and at the businesses you patronize. If recycling is unavailable, ask for it and let them know there are resources available to get it started.

MIKE OPAT, Minneapolis

The writer is chairman of the Hennepin County Board.

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