Pope Fran­cis too gen­tle

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - OPINION -

I’ve read the let­ter which Pope Fran­cis sent to our bish­ops, meet­ing to pray and con­sider how best to re­solve the scan­dals re­sult­ing from abuse. The Holy Fa­ther is too gen­tle. This el­derly un­e­d­u­cated Catholic says this to my beloved bish­ops:

If you are guilty of crimes, or of cov­er­ing up the crimes of oth­ers, im­me­di­ately re­move your­self from your of­fi­cial po­si­tion, present your­self to the ap­pro­pri­ate civil au­thor­i­ties, ad­mit the crimes and grate­fully ac­cept the pun­ish­ment de­manded un­der law.

To pre­vent any re­cur­rence of sick­en­ing crimes such as we have seen, no or­dained clergy should wield fi­nan­cial or civil in­flu­ence. Turn over con­trol of the “phys­i­cal plant” and all mon­e­tary mat­ters to com­pe­tent lay­men. Or­dained min­is­ters must re­turn to their in­tended role as pas­tors, shun­ning all other power. If you want to run the gov­ern­ment, re­quest lai­ciza­tion and run for po­lit­i­cal of­fice. If you want to run a busi­ness, get a job.

Bill Laude­man Red Bank

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