Monday, September 08, 2003
"NO CONFESSIONS: As an ex-Catholic, I think the church should eliminate confessions. The reason the priests have abused our boys and girls is because they give confessions, and make the priests tempted to have sex with them. During confession, some priests take advantage of children at a time when they are most vulnerable. It is not a sin not to go to confession. It is a lot of boloney to believe otherwise. – MARGO.”
FR. SISTARE'S RESPONSE
As I drove down Norfolk Ave. Monday morning, I noticed that the stack of Pawtucket Times delivered for our 350 school children were dropped off next to our weekly garbage. After reading the Monday issue of the Pawtucket Times, I thought how fitting a place for such a paper. On Monday, Sept. 8th, the Times section called Tele-times once again proved to be mere tabloid trash. An ex-Catholic named ‘Margo’ proposed that the Catholic Church eliminate the sacrament of confession because “the reason the priests have abused our boys and girls is because they give confessions, and make the priests tempted to have sex with them.”
Where would one begin to address such an outlandish comment with no proof to support such a claim? Perhaps with experience! Margo has never heard a confession in her life yet knows what a confessor thinks as he administers God’s mercy and forgiveness. For the past two years the priests at St Leo the Great have heard confessions every weekday at 6:30am and 4:45pm. Every week we hear between 30-50 confessions of young and old, serious sins as well as venial. To suggest that we sit in a confessional at 6:30 am because we are sex crazed monsters is insulting and perhaps one the dumbest responses to the scandals to date. Though I don’t expect Margo, the ex-Catholic, to make an apology anytime soon, the Pawtucket Times owes the entire city an apology.
The Times owes the faithful clergy who serve the penitents of Pawtucket and the surrounding area an apology. The sins of some don’t give one the right to bash and attack the sacred ministry of many faithful priests. Moreover, the Times owe the parents of our school children an apology for publishing such garbage that could corrupt their innocent minds. Every parent should be outraged over such poor journalism. A year ago I was promised by the publisher of the Times that there would be more accountability in the Tele-Times. Mr. Palange, you have failed on your promise and owe all faithful Catholics, clergy and laity, of Pawtucket an apology!
The Rev. John A. Sistare, S.T.L.