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posted: 2/14/2014 5:00 AM

Above all else, protect the church

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United Nations condemns the Vatican's handling of clergy sex abuse? Helena, Mont., archdiocese declares bankruptcy after settling 362 cases of abuse? Chicago Archdiocese releases 6,000 pages of documents detailing clergy abuse and subsequent cover up? Amid all these sensationalist headlines, I'd like to commend the brave souls who continue to attend, and give money to, the Catholic Church.

I know that Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" (Matt 5:6), but he didn't say "right away." The true victims in this are the clergy, who had to work feverishly to make sure to cover-up every abuse, and shuffle the abusive priests from diocese to diocese. Why doesn't the U.N. mention their suffering?

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Until recently, most of the issues have been semi-successfully covered up at all levels, including the Vatican. Unfortunately, pesky documentaries like "Deliver Us From Evil" and "Mea Maxima Culpa," along with constant legal assaults by the priests' victims -- and now, the U.N. condemnation -- are pushing these things into the light again. Shouldn't we continue to look the other way like we have always done?

To an outsider, this discussion must seem obscene. You may want to punish the grown men who forcibly molested young children, but you have to think "greater good." According to The Economist, approximately 2.7 percent of all the money that the American Catholic Church takes in goes directly to charity! With an impressive number like that, I would hope that even non-Catholics can understand why this institution needs to be protected at all costs, regardless of how many kids suffered and how many in the hierarchy actively worked (and are still working) to cover this up.

Colin Barr

Arlington Heights

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