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posted: 3/3/2014 5:01 AM

Hierarchal system protected priests

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This is in response to the Jan. 29 letter, "Catholic schools are a source of pride." Thank you, Rita King, for the dedicated work you have done in Catholic schools. I too am a product of years of Catholic education. Most of my teachers were nuns. I admired them so much that for years I wanted to join their community and be just like them.

I continue to be grateful for the devoted individuals who provide a caring Catholic education in a safe and loving environment. Cardinals and bishops were far removed from the sisters and lay folks who educated us young Catholics. The "Princes of the Church" lived in a Chicago mansion and traveled by limousine. We had little, if any, contact with them.

Church hierarchy remain isolated by an elitist system that has existed for centuries. These men have elevated roles within a system that protects them from facing consequences.

The facts are finally out in the open. After a decade, not one of the cardinals or bishops whose code of silence enabled the continued sexual abuse of children had been sanctioned. Instead, their abuse of trust and power continued.

Rather than focusing attention on protecting children, their efforts went into delaying legal action and the cover-up of public knowledge about the sex-abuse scandal. Catholics themselves are not being persecuted by the media or anyone else. Rather, an elitist system is being questioned in regard to the cover-up of heinous crimes.

Pope Francis has given new hope to Catholics who feel far removed from the Vatican. I hope he is able to repair the damage that has caused further division in the Church. Jesus rebelled against social injustice and corruption. Will Francis have the courage to institute change in a such a flawed system? I hope so.

Joanne Gurion

Rolling Meadows

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