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Scandal-plagued Catholic Church needs leadership

a group of Roman Catholics rallies in the rain outside the Baltimore Basilica in response to the sexual abuse scandal, demanding action and reform by the church. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun video)

The continuing disclosure of the ubiquitous scandals that have permeated the Catholic Church for the last 60 years has resulted in the exodus of a portion of the loyal members of the laity (“Clericalism will undo the Catholic Church,” June 11).

A number of issues have contributed to the rationale for the departure of some of the faithful: embarrassment for the church, concern for the stigma attached to the dedicated and God-fearing faithful clergy, a desire for change in the organization and its rules and a need for stronger leadership to withstand the degenerate changes in the culture of the country. As a consequence of the scandals, these issues have imbued some people with a falsely perceived notion of being accessories due to a feeling of guilt by association.

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The disenchanted may argue that they are not leaving the Catholic Church, the church has permitted itself to leave them. They have not sinned, therefore they are not excommunicated. In some cases, the behavior of the apathetic hierarchy up to the level of cardinal results in sin as well as the egregious scandalous behavior of clergy. They should be excommunicated in the eyes of the dissenting faithful.

The Catholic Church has certainly experienced heretical and scandalous trauma through the centuries, but it has always returned to the fundamental doctrines upon which it was founded by Jesus Christ. Through the actions of the great saints during these difficult periods, the basic truths of the sacraments and the laws of the church were reiterated and accepted by all members, clergy and laity, as incontrovertible.

Where is that saint today? Is it Pope Francis or some obscure clergyman who has received the grace and fortitude to carry the banner of restoration, renewal and reconciliation so that the church will once again be accepted by everyone as a representative of God here on earth? If so, it would certainly be a cause once again for canonization.

Jack Freeze, Ocean Pines

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