The Baltimore Sun

Church leadership betrays its ideals

Paradoxes of our Catholic leadership's behavior on matters of church and faith were clearly evident in the article "It's good for the soul" (Feb. 26).

The paradox is that church leadership continues to oppose bills before the General Assembly that would protect children and follow Catholic sacramental traditions and teachings about justice.

This is the Catholic sacramental tradition of Reconciliation as defined by Thomas Aquinas: "The payment of the temporal punishment due on account of the offense committed against God by sin." And this is Catholic justice as described by St. Augustine in The City of God: "Further, justice is that virtue which gives everyone his due."

Now the church is sponsoring a campaign to promote confession called "The Light Is On For You."

Church leaders should follow the light of truth in dealing with the sexual abuse cover-up scandal. The light should shine on healing, treatment and salvation and involve Aquinas' sense of reparation and Augustinian justice.

But sadly, survivors have often been denied such justice by an application of secular situational ethics by the church.

Many lay Catholics pray the church hierarchy will restore us with the same love of church we have for our faith. But its actions have driven millions away while leaving many with aching hearts and souls.

We pray our leaders will reconsider their opposition to legislation to extend the statute of limitations on lawsuits by survivors of childhood sexual abuse and follow Catholic values of truth, peace and justice, while supporting laws that follow sacramental tradition and the teachings of the Gospel and Jesus.

Frank Dingle, Catonsville

The writer is coordinator of the Greater Baltimore Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic organization that seeks to support survivors of sexual abuse.

Democrats slow to act on utilities

Considering that a Democratic legislature and governor foisted utility deregulation on Maryland residents, I guess it is only fitting that today's Democratic leaders attempt to make amends ("A bid to curb energy firms," March 3).

Gov. Martin O'Malley and company twiddled their thumbs on this issue after the election, only acting now that soaring costs and customer complaints have held their feet to the fire.

But today, any corporate arguments that such reregulation would limit consumer choice are without merit. Customer choice barely exists now, and I've found it next to impossible to find any affordable gas or electric supplier other than Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. that is taking new customers.

Bill Ballantyne, Baltimore

New regulations will add to costs

If Gov. Martin O'Malley thinks utility costs are high now ("A bid to curb energy firms," March 3), what does he think the global warming bill he supports would do to energy bills?

Many experts believe that such a cap-and-trade approach would sharply increase the cost of energy.

Has the governor thought about what that would do to people who already can't afford their heating bills?

Mike Sneeringer Jr., Baltimore

Strip searches disgraceful practice

It's disgraceful that Baltimore police have been violating the rights and human dignity of citizens with searches like the one reported in "Nurse says traffic stop led to strip search" (March 1) for so long.

In the absence of consequences for not doing so, there is no motivation for officers to act responsibly or to treat citizenry with respect.

Officers need to be reminded of the oaths they have sworn, and to suffer more than just a reprimand when they violate those oaths.

Omar Siddique, Ellicott City

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