The Baltimore Sun

Obama must explain goals for Afghanistan

Why are we in Afghanistan? We've had the Iraq war shoved down our throats for years without knowing why we were there and now we see an escalation of troops in Afghanistan with no real explanation from our new president as to why this is necessary ("The Afghan dilemma," editorial, Feb. 18).

Our economy is in ruins and getting worse, and yet we can somehow come up with billions to support another war that has no end in sight.

Is it because the U.S. fears the fragile government in nearby Pakistan might succumb to the Taliban, resulting in nuclear weapons in the Taliban's arsenal?

If so, wouldn't it be easier to disarm Pakistan rather than fight another war that is not winnable?

President Barack Obama owes the American people an explanation as to why we are getting deeper into another quagmire halfway around the world.

Richard Thompson, Catonsville

Lawsuits over abuse could ruin the church

Apparently state Sens. Delores G. Kelley and Sen. James Brochin never went to any of our outstanding Catholic schools or received the excellent health care services offered by St. Joseph's Hospital or Mercy Hospital.

And I doubt that they have volunteered at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen, which feeds hundreds of individuals per week, or attended a wedding, funeral or mass at the historic Basilica of the Assumption or Immaculate Conception Church in Towson.

For if either of these senators had any idea of the kinds of contributions these institutions provide our communities, they would not be sponsoring a bill to extend the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases that would have a devastating impact on those institutions ("Extend the window for lawsuits over abuse," letters, Feb. 15).

The bill would allow multimillion-dollar civil lawsuits against the Catholic Church for alleged cases of sexual abuse that occurred as much as 25 to 50 years ago.

Although the sponsor and co-sponsors of this bill say that they have nothing against the Catholic Church, the experience of a similar law in Delaware shows that all of the lawsuits filed under the new statute of limitations there have been against the Catholic Church, driving that diocese to the brink of bankruptcy.

Do the good senators really care for our communities, or do they have an association with the trial lawyers who are promoting this sort of legislation throughout the country and stand to benefit greatly financially from measures that allow them to sue the church?

Lorelei Maxwell, Towson

It's wrong for church to impede justice

I totally agree with Sister Maureen Paul Turlish's letter recommending support for the bill sponsored by state Sen. Delores G. Kelley that would extend the state's statute of limitations for lawsuits over childhood sexual abuse ("Extend the window for lawsuits over abuse," Feb. 15).

The position of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which strongly opposes this bill, is nothing short of outrageous. I remember sitting in my pew listening to the pastor of my parish weigh in on this matter. I could not believe my ears.

Any criminal or civil matters regarding child abuse need to be settled in court. If the church believes that a priest or other employee is innocent of an abuse charge, it should help to provide a good defense for that person.

But the fact is that the church has little credibility in this area and that the position of the archdiocese is not morally sustainable. And I resent the fact that the church is spending so much time and effort in this matter.

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

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